This week in art – Acadia

Fig. 1

Every week I am taking the time to discuss one of the art pieces that I, or me and my son, have created. I go through the thought process, the influences, the technique, etc. I am hoping that this post will help you better understand the origin of my art and admire all of its intricacies.

This week’s piece Is simply called; “Acadie!” it is 11×17 inches in dimension and was done with ink and soft pastels on paper canvas. This piece has been offered as a gift to my Pastor who retired a couple of years back.

As usual, I started with a couple of lines here and there. I quickly noticed that I was going towards a nautical theme as the first group of lines and shapes resembled  an anchor. (Fig. 1)

I kept on drawing a little more line just so that I could be certain that this theme is the one that was coming out of the drawing. As I added lines and shapes, I was noticing that yes, the theme could be considered nautical but there was more to it. At first I thought it could be a fish, because of the long lines that were located at the bottom of the shape (Fig. 2) But then, I noticed something totally  different, this is not a fish, it is a house, a small wooden house. So I veered into that direction and completed the right side of the house (Fig. 3)

Although I completed the house, I had to decide where that house was located and since my first impression was a fish, I decided that this house could be a small Acadian house and that the subject of the piece would be the acadian culture. Please be aware that I am no specialist in the acadian culture, I was born and raised in Montreal and I moved to Moncton in 2002. This piece is an interpretation of my experience with acadian people since I moved here. So, without hesitation, I drew musical instruments that were usually used  in kitchen parties in Acadia; the guitar, the violin and the washboard.(Fig.4)

I didn’t stop there, I also included pans, an harmonica, piano keys, a trumpet (for the cousins down south in Louisiana) and some musical notes to show that it is an ever going celebration of the culture.(Fig. 5) Once I was done with the musical instruments, I decided to finish the house, give it more details. So I drew the small house with a half second floor, as I see a lot of those houses here in Moncton, But I decided to draw the door open to represent that Acadian people are welcoming people, they always greet you with a smile. (Fig. 6) Now that the house was done, I drew the surroundings of the house, I drew prairies on the left side as, geographically, this is where the ground would be since the ocean is on the right, or to the east if you would prefer. Agriculture is a big part of the acadian culture but so is fishery, that is why I drew a small lobster at the south of the house (bottom) and pebbles on the right to represent the beach (Fig. 6).

Now that the vertical center was done, I had to add more elements at the bottom and the top of the drawing. First off, I added a light house on the right side because I thought that the fishery representation was not at all noticeable. I also added an art piece under the musical instrument as there is a lot of paintings being produced in acadian soil. It is part of the acadian culture. (Fig. 7) Also, a big part of the acadian culture is literature, so I added a book with a quill to represent the excellency of the story telling that is instilled in the acadian culture. I also represented one of the most iconic acadian character called; “La sagouine”, she is covered with her shawl and smiling, looking towards the ocean. (Fig. 8) And finally, since I had a small space at the bottom, I added a fishing boat navigating in the ocean on a sunny afternoon (Fig. 9)

Finally, the bottom part was complete. I was so happy with the result that I wanted something light for the top of the drawing. At first I thought that maybe I should just draw clouds, but no, the acadian people are not morose people, they are happy, they have the “Joie de vivre” in their blood and they are proud people. So the choice was easy, I was going to draw an acadian flag over this scenery. (Fig. 10) I stepped back and looked at the result. There was a lot of white space, and to tell you the truth, I felt that there was something missing. So I went back to it and create a shore line, like one you can see in Caraquet. (Fig. 11) I was pleased with how it turned out. All that was left for me to do is complete the sky with a few clouds and “voilà”, the piece was completed.

It did take me a while to figure out the coloring of this piece as there was a lot of elements in there. But I managed to bring out all of the important elements to the front end. (Fig. 12)

I really enjoyed this piece, as a matter of fact I enjoyed it so much that I decided to create an acadian t-shirt with it. At first, I designed the drawing with the words; “Je vis mon acadie” (Fig. 13) After I posted the design on the facebook page, a couple of friends mentioned to me that they wanted to see something with just the word “Acadie” in it, So I designed that instead (Fig. 14) The response was a lot better towards that design.

After a couple of hours of research and phone calls, I managed to create a t-shirt that I like and resulted in a nice shirt that I can wear on August 15. And if it is too cold, I also have a hoodie that I can use with the same design, but on the back of the hoodie. (Fig. 15)

I still have some of the hoodies in my possession. So if ever you are interested in purchasing one, contact me and I will get one for you.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the creation of this piece as much as I had creating it.

Until next time, keep creating!

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