When Louise Cloutier retired from teaching at the local high school in Pugwash, she channelled her creative energy by establishing a centre for art workshops in the village. ArtQuarters was a welcome injection of art education for all ages for four years. Promotion on social media was successful, expanding the audience not only for ArtQuarters programming but going a long way to establishing Louise as prominent artist on the North Shore. When Covid restrictions required her to close her doors, she realized that ArtQuarters had taken almost as much energy as teaching youth in the high school. It had been a stop gap. Now it was time to concentrate on her own painting.
With a heightened profile and reinforced confidence, Louise committed herself to growing her art business and elevating her work to a more professional level. She created a new website featuring her paintings. When approached to do a number of commissions for public installations she said yes, which further increased her followers. She worked to grow her portfolio and raised her asking prices to reflect the time and energy she was devoting to her practice and the demand for her paintings. She researched and visited art galleries in Nova Scotia to determine which might be a good fit for her style of painting and need for representation. She challenged herself by participating in a plein air event in Pugwash this summer and mounting a solo show of her work in a gallery in Amherst. Now she is making plans to expand her home studio.
In a world where strife and chaos seem the norm, Louise finds comfort in her art. This past year has been a productive and rewarding one. When Louise is focussing on a commission or deep into a series of paintings, she is totally immersed in her work. The outside world fades away. She finds herself working longer hours and intentionally blocks out uninterrupted time on her schedule. Her art is now the priority.
Louise’s paintings are notable for an evocative realism that is capable of eliciting an emotional response from the viewer. Her successful Dinghy Beach series is a good example of this, tapping into fond memories of hot summer days at the beach. Louise also uses symbolism in her work, as illustrated by her Make America Great series.
Louise says she is influenced by the symbolic work of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, and more recently, Amy Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama.
To see more of Louise’s art work: https://louisecloutierartist.com/