Amélie Gagné, originally from Québec, Canada is an artist now living in Killarney, Ireland in the beautiful County Kerry, since 2001.
Amélie, you mention in your bio that your finest creative achievements have come during your years with Les Ateliers du Carnaval? Could you tell us about this?
- Well..! I don’t know if they were the finest but they were so different and challenging.. We were responsible for the design and creation of the floats for the Carnaval’s parade. Every year had a different theme and we had to first build a structure made of metal,( I had to learn arc welding quite fast!) and then this was covered by polyurethane, (the stuff they spray on Walls for isolation…) and then we had to sculpt it, sand it and paint it. It was extremely messy but I loved it. There was foam all over my car, my bed and my wardrobe, but I got to work with fantastic people, carpenters, mecanics, electricians…
I see that you use acrylics, what do you love about that medium?
I would never say that one medium is better then an other, it’s a very
personal thing and it just seems to suit me better. I’m not very patient
and would hate the drying time associated with the oils, I like that it
dries fast, is very versatile, working thick or thin, and I love being
able to finish a painting in one sitting and be able to frame it straight
You were born in Québec, Canada, you now live in Killarney, Ireland. How is the art world in Killarney, Ireland the same/different from the art world in Québec?
- I now live in Killarney, southwest of Ireland. It’s only once here that I started to exhibit so it’s hard to say, but for me the advantage here is that over here I’m “different”, I’m the young Canadian artist living in Ireland… And in Canada, where i am now starting to exhibit, i’m the young artist that “made it” on the european market… Plus making your mark in a small country is a little easier to get started I think. Pre-recession, Ireland was a great booming place for artists. Times are a little harder now, but artists in Ireland still benefit from tax-free income on the sales of art.
What/Who inspires you? and how do you get your inspirations?
- Children books, Jimmy Lawlor, Tim Burton… The Irish landscape, any interesting pattern or shapes of trees and plants, or any interesting color combination seen in a magazine or on a piece of jewelry…
What do you find is the best thing about being an artist?
- Well I’m not exactly full time at it.. I also do part-time teaching (acrylics!) and I work in a beautiful art gallery. I’m very lucky that it’s all art related.. I love the fact that I do something creative for a living…
Is there anything you don’t you like about being an artist?
- The uncertainty maybe, or people who don’t put a value on art and think you will accept any kind of ridiculous offer…! Overall I’m quite happy..
Thank you Amélie!