Interview with Faber
Faber is one of the artists exclusively represented by the Galerie Perreault in Canada, like Françoise Nielly. The painter is also passionate about landscapes, like Daniel Gagné, and horticulture, like Claude A. Simard – it’s not surprising she fits right at home in the gallery!
We asked her some questions to learn more about her career and her style:
You have worked in very different fields, on top of painting. Why choose to paint as well as working in illustration?
In fashion, the illustration must appeal to a clientele – it has a purpose and a function. A drawn picture will stand out with a personal touch, unlike a photo. Fashion illustration has to make people dream! In publishing, the process is reversed: we design the drawings first, create them, execute them and then offer them to a publisher. For me, the illustration in publishing takes me out of the my comfort zone and it offers an opportunity to meet great authors. In painting, the dream is the inspiration. It’s my space of freedom. I like the slow pace that the realistic style demands. I get to spend hours in my workshop, as if time stopped. All these different areas form a kind of balance: I like fashion for its rhythm, I appreciate painting for its slowness and precision of execution and I cannot do without my collaborations with writers!
You studied visual arts at Laval University, but also have a degree in Harvard urban planning and an MBA at Laval University.
It sounds eclectic, but during my MBA all my school works were about fashion. My last degree is a master’s degree in visual art from Laval University and I started a doctorate in this field, purely for pleasure. I like to integrate a discipline in my schedule: it structures my work and it gives me the impression to be progressing. I developed a kind of obsession with not wasting time and talent: I’d rather sit in a classroom at university than annihilate myself in front of the television!
How did you come to study at the prestigious Harvard University?
I’ve always loved architecture, but urban design also interested me. I think I acted on a whim: I needed a change of scenery. The environment is simple, open, without judgment. This approach is effective, as if everything was only a game with a background of serious scientific approach! Study and work while having fun? I was in! Moreover, Boston is a fantastic city, where I feel at home.
You do illustrations for Parks Canada and Van den Hende Gardens; how does your painting differ from your work with those institutions?
In both cases, I am passionate about horticulture and nature. I am fascinated by the miracle of color and shapes, especially in the spring after during winter, when all was white. It feels good. The purpose of the botanical illustration is to represent the subject according to a function and in formats of dimensions defined in advance, whereas in painting, I have full freedom.
You also teach drawing; what do you like most about being a teacher?
What touches me most is the human side of teaching. I like to see students evolve. Potential talents can be detected from their first drawings. I like to think that the teacher wants to be a guide, a developer of talents for the great pleasure of the students!
How do you choose the subjects of your paintings?
I am lucky to live on Île d’Orléans and have a summer workshop in Charlevoix. These landscapes impress me. They are the topics that I favor. I believe our visual heritage deserves to be remembered. Light is at the base of my research and my landscapes are the pretext: the brightness of Quebec’s sky fascinates me. This blue is incredibly pure! I paint in successive layers until the desired hue is achieved. The gaze must wander freely and fluidly!
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