Colourist and naturalist Jacques Bosse rejoices in painting the changing colours of the seasons that surround him. He draws his artistic energy from the way the seasons affect his mood.
“If the sun is shining, oh I’m charged up, I’m better than my cell phone.”
Jacques says he doesn't draw cheerful and colourful pictures on purpose, he does it as a response to his mood and where he is in life. Sometimes, paintings can take days to complete with a session comprising a day or two of hours of work on a painting.
“Each of my paintings has a part of my personality attached to it. People look at my paintings and say it’s so cheerful, but I don’t see myself as a cheerful person, but it’s all my emotions and moods.”
His usual process is to begin by splashing a base colour on the canvas. He then goes in and using a big brush, splashes some paint on it. From here, he takes inspiration and goes on to add or take out what he likes or what goes with his mood.
Jacques likes to paint big. He uses canvases sized 72" x 54" and prefers canvas over wooden boards. He says boards have no bounce, canvas has a lively feeling to it. Working on big canvases gives him a liberating feeling.
He started out working at an engine shop, being young and restless, he continued his education with his colleagues in the evenings. Initially, he worked with ceramics but soon got frustrated. He was more attracted toward sculpting but couldn't do it because he lacked the fundamentals in drawing. So he set out to get himself educated in the craft of drawing.
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After having worked as a banker for 15 years, Jacques got the chance to move to Hong Kong as an art director. He travelled across the continent with what he calls a “cultural visit” mentality. It all changed when he started working on local projects with local artists.
“I decided that I was there to have fun so I will do everything that I wouldn’t do back in Canada, and my attitude was really good towards the art and artists.”
Artists in China work on different media and produce art using their own interpretations. Their weapons of choice are rice paper and traditional ink and water; they use these to produce paintings on rice paper or works of calligraphy.
A couple of years later, Jacques and his family moved to the Singapore. A unique experience was awaiting Jacques upon his arrival. He had the chance to work with young offenders.
“I was surprised, and in my naiveté I had thought that Singapore doesn’t have young offenders.”
The students were very receptive, and he was almost able to organize a show for their artwork, almost because the new warden didn’t buy in and he had to leave for Canada. A lot of the young offenders were going through learning difficulties and being bullied by others, and when someone comes along and says, “Hey, you're doing well!” It encourages them and increases their self esteem.
Jacques has recently started experimenting with charcoal in his paintings. He prefers to paint nature in the form of flowers, trees and sometimes even fruits. But he finds that he isn't one to draw a lot of figures and faces. Although one of his paintings featuring Mao Tse-tong was featured in Home Style Magazine. The painting was used in a picture of a low-priced accessory room. His wife, very wisely, showed him the positive in that.
“A woman, when she goes out doesn’t have to wear Chanel or Gucci to look good. She can be really casual and wear something special like an old broach or scarf, and she will shine. Think of it this way, your painting is making their low-priced room shine.”
Jacques says working on a painting is an extremely personal experience, and he cannot draw if someone is watching him. Each painting of his draws out something from his personality and then becomes a part of the piece of art.
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“It is a dialogue between myself and the canvas and observers would act as distractors or become a part of the dialogue.”