45 Danielle Richard

"I would like to testify of the beauty of the world and try to contribute to embellish it. I want future viewers to be moved as I have been moved. I translate into images the singular moments which I witnessed during my passage... and hopefully that may help others with their life journey."

''Her works serve as a reminder that great strength has its beginnings in tranquility and that the most lasting dialogues we will have are those within ourselves.'' - Brian Schieder, art critic

Danielle Richard is an award-winning realist painter from Quebec, Canada. She works in oils, acrylics, and pastels. She is known for her clean, clear, peaceful portraits of women and water. Danielle is a signature member of the Inst. of Figurative Arts, the Portrait Society of America, the Drawing Society of Canada, the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada (PSEC), and the Quebec Int. Academy of Fine Arts (ABAQ)). She has been featured in Acrylic Artist Mag., American Art Collector, Artist's Mag., Int. Artist Mag., Pastel Journal, and many books and catalogs. And, she has won numerous awards, including first prize from the Society of Canadian Artists, grand prizes from both the PSEC and ABAQ, best pastel from Plein Air Magazine, and a gold medal from FASO's Bold Brush competition.

Danielle graduated from the Cegep de Ste-Foy, and Laval University in Quebec with a BFA. She says of school (Sherwin, 2013):

"As an art student, I was swimming against the tide. I was more interested in notions of beauty than ''concepts'', provocation, and innovation at any price. I humbly choose to express a more poetic and optimistic view of a potential world...The art school (University) didn't bring me what I was searching for in technical and traditional art instruction. I therefore decided to alternate my school semesters with traveling to Europe and the United States. I visited museums in order to learn from masters. The observation of the work of Sargent, Zorn, Larsson, Klimt, Carrière, to name a few, was the best form of instruction that I could find."

After earning her BFA, she supplemented her education with courses in Oxford, the atelier Donna Miro in Montreal, and other courses and workshops.

'Ici a jamais (Here Forever)'

Danielle talks about her work on her website (translated from French):

"My work bears witness to a quest for beauty, which is, in a way, a common thread. Mt art echoes those moments of silence and peace, inspired by life far from the tumult. I often paint the "eternal feminine", whom I know especially from within, who proves to be the best figure for the emotions that I favor. . . . My approach is part of a so-called "realistic" movement, whose language aims to be optimistic, poetic and timeless."

'Barque en derive (Boat Adrift)'

She explains further in this interview with Brian Sherwin (The Art Edge, 2013):

"I am related to the world of women, children and water. I paint women because I know them from the inside and I realized that they can be the perfect ''support'' for the feelings and emotions that I want to communicate with my art. Also, as a mother of five, I felt that I had more to express about femininity. We are strong and vulnerable at the same time. These are the two poles, if you will, that I like to visit when I talk about the feminine world.

"As for my connection to water, lakes and rivers have always been in my environment. I love calm water, I love summer houses with lakes, I love the reflection produced by the end of the day Sunlight, no rush...the day is ''tired''. In many of my works, the water is used as a metaphor, an element that sets the figures apart from their surroundings that also seems to embrace and protect."

"I am fascinated by the harmony and balance of beauty. My intention is not to tell a story or make a statement... I would rather say that it's a poeticizing; my poeticizing of reality and its magic moments... without focusing on a message under the surface."

'Canot docile (Docile Canoe)'

Danielle tells Sherwin about her painting process:

". . . composition is a major starting point for me. I find myself attracted to the composition first. I try to achieve the strength and impact of that composition. Working from a certain distance to always keep the big picture in focus, is major for me. I take time to really look at the painting as I work... a process that is extremely helpful in order to see if it all works together."

"I trust my instinct and imagination to bring my work to the final result. Indeed, I think that a good artist should have confidence in his or her own perceptions and tastes. The questions that I often ask to myself are: ''What do I really like?'' and "what really moves me?"... that is very much a key part of my process as a painter."

 Danielle explains her choice of media as well (Sherwin, 2013):

"I like to work with different mediums and supports. I work with acrylic, oil and pastels. To pass from one to another is almost like playing music with different instruments... each medium brings its own vibration to the subject. I appreciate them all. With mediums like oil and acrylic, I usually work in an under-painting made of Transparent Sienna and establish the values...values... I continue to realize how important they are. I work with very thin layers of color, and that's why, sometimes, I prefer to choose acrylics for the facility of not having to wait for the layers to dry for days before I can add a new one. Pastel is also interesting when you don't want to prepare your colors in advance. With pastels you can have only a few minutes available in your studio and still proceed!"

Danielle also gives this advice to artists trying to make it as a professional (Sherwin, 2013):

"I think participating in art competitions can be helpful with art marketing. For years I didn't participate in any art competitions or contests. I've only recently started to explore the potential. I realize now that art competitions, especially if they are won, bring recognition to my career. That is something I can use to market my work in addition to exhibiting and other factors. When your work is included in a group of serious painters, it is very stimulating. I should have started exploring this a long time ago!

"The best art marketing tip I can offer is to make sure that you have an online presence. You certainly need a website with nice photographs of your artwork. Linking your website with your blog and social networking sites, such as Facebook, makes for a good art marketing recipe!"

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'Attendre la lumiere (Waiting for the Light)'

'Adieu Longtemps (Long Goodbye)'

'Brigette sous l'arbre (Brigette Under the Tree)'

'Quelque Part (Somewhere)'

'Violon Sage (The Sage Violin)'

'Petite Juliette'

'Emily et les moutons (Emily and the Sheep)'