Isabelle Tremblay

Isabelle Tremblay was born on November 4th, 1970 in Chicoutimi, Quebec. On top of being a very gifted student, she also demonstrated artistic and musical abilities very early on in her life. From ages 6 to 13, she took classes in classical ballet, jazz ballet, figure skating and music through which she explored her talents.

At 17, she enrolled in the Social Studies program at the Cégep de Chicoutimi. It should be mentioned that she was always very interested in psychology. It is also important to mention that she tried for many years to force herself into a more « serious » line of work despite her artistic aptitudes. However, the following year, she left the social studies program to pursue a DEC in Visual Arts at the Cégep de Chicoutimi. She finished in 1990. This was among the most telling experiences for the artist. When she left the Saguenay for Sherbrooke to pursue her studies, that being the reason for her relocation, she completed one year in Education at the University. You may as well have asked a fish to walk! The next year, feeling slightly lost, she completed a certificate in Arts, also at the University of Sherbrooke. This was far from her best year of studies! But this path did not seem like one. She then compromised and got a degree in Graphic Design at the University of Laval in Quebec. She finished her studies in December 1995. She made attempts to make a career out of graphic design, but it soon became evident that although it seemed like the perfect compromise, her instincts would bring her elsewhere.

She went to Hull in 1997 with a partner. She spent the next two years painting. In 1999, she left Hull for Montreal in order to work for the video-game company Ubi-Soft where she worked until 2001. She was taken on because of her artistic abilities as a graphic designer in textures and pattern structure. After she left Ubi-Soft for health reasons, she reentered a production phase due in part 10 the support she received from her new partner and a few fateful encounters. Because of this, her dream was able to grow, even when at times she never dared dream it was possible.

She soon showed her work at many occasions in Montreal over the next 3 years and in 2004, after a very successful show at Galerie Dentaire in Montreal, she became a permanent artist at Galerie Saint-Dizier in Montreal’s Old Port. During this time, Quebec-Amérique bought the reproduction rights for two of her pieces to use them as cover art for the novels Les larmes d’Adam by Robert Maltais and Polaroids by Sophie Létourneau. After she left Galerie St-Dizier 2006, she exhibited her work in a new art gallery located in the Mile End until 2007. But the lack of profits and the disillusionment she felt towards the art market caused her to make the decision to take a break from production. She attempted to redirect herself and in 2007, underwent a training course in furniture finishing. This experience lasted 6 months. A new passion was born and she toyed with the idea of opening up her own antique replica store. However, at the time, the project was unable to see the light of day. She found herself faced with her art once again.

Attempting to live from art alone had been difficult for her, as it often is for many artists. Her love for painting on one end of the spectrum and her dislike for the costs of being an artist in our society, can be a source of suffering, but still she persisted. She does so because in any event, no matter what she does, life always seems to bring her back to the same place: in front of her easel, her spirit overflowing with images to create. Today, she is a permanent artist at Galerie Lac Brome in Knowlton and has been there since June 2009. She fully intends to live out the love and the innate and unavoidable need she has for expression and beauty.

I would almost define myself as a seeker. The discovery and knowledge of the intangible is fascinating to me. I have almost no recollection of a time in my life where I wasn’t on a quest for a deeper truth. At the same time, something within me pushes me to share this progressive discovery. For me, art is the medium of choice to relate to others. It is also the connecting link between ether and the world, of which I am proud to be a conductor. It is certainly the reason for which I lend myself to painting and why the need has been so persistent throughout time. Doing so brings me back to my center, where questions turn into answers. It is intimacy, the link between a younger and an older me that is maintained through this relationship. Unlimited possibilities are also present and time holds no influence. In this space, we find a marvelous ocean where all the potential in the world exists and is waiting to show itself. If we lend ourselves to art as either the artist or the observer, art detests us for a moment, barriers of the spirit of separation, cold and calculating to bring us to a space where we all join each other. In my case, it is a path that brings us toward the divine within ourselves and this path, albeit arduous is in reality a source of joy, grace and beauty that is certainly for sharing.

Art practices for me are on par with spiritual practices. In other words, it represents the balance between harshness and abandon, effort and confidence, humanity and confidence. At the end of the day, one must accept and serve the intangible and let everything else float on by. In my opinion, the artist’s job is to purify oneself with time so that he can better render the rays of light he receives. For my part I attempt, through my art, to express myself through symbols, with elements that we cannot see: hope, evolution, freedom, divinity the greatness and grace that lives within us and that we sometimes forget, but that is our true nature, in my opinion.

In my work you can find symbols such as the sprout: which represents the unborn, the potential. The tree: which represents the visible side of things, which in my opinion is often just one single part of what it really is as a whole, the ego. The bird: which symbolizes teachings, and life’s so called coincidences. The egg: which is a gift, life, a secret, a promise hidden within itself, an imminent discovery. The butterfly: the universal symbol of transformation and rebirth. The kimono: which for me symbolizes the spirit and its richness and unity. Water: symbol of emotions and subtle worlds.

I am happy to have the opportunity to show the fruits of my labor on a daily basis. I wish for it to be as beneficial for you as it once was for me, when I was plucking the gardens of Ether.