Ottawa’s a great place to live and work and to meet interesting, creative people. We’ll introduce you to some of them in The Ottawa Scene, a feature that will appear in our newsletter and on our blog or Facebook page once in a while. We’d welcome your feedback, including who you’d like to see here, at email@example.com.
An Emotional Journey
by Viviane Bergevin
I discovered painting some years ago and it quickly became a passion for me. This creative artform allows me to relive real-life journeys as well as travel within my soul and explore new thoughts and feelings.
“Where do you get your inspiration?,” is a question I am often asked. The answer is usually simple: emotions. When planning a painting, I ask myself, ”What state of mind am I in?,” and, “What mood do I want to convey to the viewer?”. Usually, I am looking to create peaceful and serene images since our day-to-day realities are hectic. Edgar Degas’ view on art motivates me: it is not about what the artist sees but what he makes others see. This is why I love abstract art; it’s not about imposing a thought or an emotion on others but rather allowing them to interpret the art, synthesize their emotions and feel what they see.
My painting started with the Cityscape series. Movement, colours and textures drove those paintings, influenced by the urban diversity experienced during a trip to New York City.
Using the palette knife and its sharp edge in strong straight motions to create buildings truly feels liberating for me. Big cities are places where a myriad of high-rises dance with each other, often forming a balanced choreography. They are a constant source of inspiration as seen in Torrid City and City Urbaine.
Travel is a passion my family shares and, through painting, we can relive those euphoric moments and capture discovered beauties. Water is definitely an attractive element. It inspires peace and wellness. It is also a recurring theme in my paintings: trying to portray its fluidity, its power and its magnificent, ever-changing colours. A recent trip to Italy motivated a painting called Cinque , named after the breathtaking Cinque Terre coast.
Another example of water providing inspiration can be seen in Doux Chaos.
While abstract art can be very inspiring and stimulating, taking the mind anywhere it’s allowed to wander, sometimes our minds need to see and feel something more concrete. This is why I also paint flowers with bright and contrasting colours, especially after a long, white winter. The painting Spring Is Here was directly influenced by my grandfather’s enormous rose garden in France filled with giant red, pink and yellow roses. I remember walking through the garden as a child and being surrounded by the vibrant colours and the refined smells. As a break from Ottawa’s seemingly unending winters, I try to capture those textures and colours in my paintings to bring a fresh and hopeful breath.
The artistic journey itself has been full of wonderful emotions: sharing with others and inspiring them through paintings has given a great sense of joy and satisfaction. There’s pride in being able to display my work in a several galleries locally and soon in Bologna, Italy. And there’s gratefulness to the good friends, family members and art lovers who have purchased paintings to enjoy for themselves. Perhaps the best emotion of all has been amazement in discovering this passion and in receiving enormous support from those closest to me.
Viviane Bergevin is an artist who was born and raised in Ottawa. Her parents were immigrants from France who took Viviane on many childhood trips to Europe helped her build a dual cultural heritage. She grew up surrounded by art and creativity, fueling her passion for painting.
As a wife and mother of three children, Viviane often finds relief and serenity in her art. Experimenting with many subjects, she also aims to find balance and harmony. Her use of texture, vibrant colour and strong contrast characterize her style. Abstract landscapes, cityscapes and florals are among her common subjects.
Viviane Bergevin’s website is http://vivab.weebly.com/.