Payge Fortier - Artist Interview
"I create these works to share through my own eyes,
the diverse and sometimes unnoticed beauty we live amongst."
Q. Please tell us about bit about yourself. Anything you’d like to share, perhaps where you live, where you were born, your family.
I was born in Dawson Creek, and raised on a small farm in Arras BC. I come from a family of working-class trades people, with artistic talents from both sides.
Q. Can you tell us when you first realized that you enjoyed creating art and wished to become an artist. Is there a particular person who supported your decision to pursue your goals? If so, in what way did you feel supported? If so, how did you feel?
I’ve enjoyed art from a very young age. Bree, my older sister, was the main inspiration to create art as a child. I was that annoying little sister always hovering over her shoulder trying to figure out how she could draw so well! We were both obsessed with horses, and that was our main subject of choice.
Throughout my life family and friends have been very supportive in my artistic pursuit, I’ve also had amazing teachers in school (elementary to high school) who saw potential and encouraged me to seek a career that is art involved. The support I received was great, but I did feel a bit lost early in my artistic journey, I just had no idea what it would take to be a professional artist or the steps needed to make it.
Q. What is your motivation for creating art?
I create Art to share my perspective of the world with others, I strive for my work to inspire and evoke emotion. Creating art to me is therapeutic and helps to ground me as a person.
Q. Do you have a favorite medium and if so, why?
My favorite medium at present is acrylic paint. I use a mix of heavy body, and fluid acrylic paint. I love the fast-drying time acrylic offers. I do my paintings in a series of layers, acrylic works best for me to get quick bold results I desire.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about some of your artworks and what they mean to you?
My way of communicating visually is through vibrant colors, strong lines, and contrast. Nature and our region's landscape have been the main influences in my work. I create these works to share through my own eyes, the diverse and sometimes unnoticed beauty we live amongst. With this goal in mind, I hope to convey the importance of our landscape and inspire its preservation for everyone to benefit from.
Hanging On the Edge
Fairy Food #1
Q. When you create art do you listen to calming music, are you thinking of anything in particular or have any emotions at all?
I do prefer the option of listening to music while I create, it helps me to get in the zone where I can block out all other distractions and really get lost in my work. The music choice depends on my mood. I usually like more upbeat energetic tunes since it helps me to create more energy in my works. I try to not think about anything other than the task at hand, I create best when I work that way.
Q. In our busy world, time can be an issue. Do you have any tips or tricks to find time for your art?
It is very hard to find time to create, especially if you're working a full-time job. I found the best way for me is to make a designated day or time to create. Having a space to create art away from the distractions of home life is also very helpful. A studio space is great! you can leave out the art mess without bothering anyone. Cleaning can defiantly dampen the creative flow:)
Q. Is creating art your main profession?
Creating art is still part time for me at present. I owned and operated a small custom fine art framing business for 8 years, but recently have changed things up and I’m now managing a framing department part time at the Dawson Creek Art gallery. This has been a positive change offering more opportunity for me to create.
Q. Can you tell us about any awards or exhibitions that have made an impact on your life?
My first experience entering the Peace Liard juried art exhibit was memorable to me. While attending an artist walk-through critique a total stranger started defending my work while the juror was criticizing some of my composition choices. I'll never forget that moment of comradery as a young artist, me and that stranger are now long-time friends.
I just recently was the artist chosen for the Bin Top artist in residence program at the Dawson Creek Art Gallery, creating my very first solo show titled Bos Taurus now available to view at the Calvin Kruk Centre for The Arts.
This is a huge step for me moving forward to my goal of one day creating art as my main profession.
Q. Do you have any major goals for your art career?
I hope to one day be a full-time professional artist. I am interested in other future artists in residency programs to gain more experience and knowledge base.
Teaching art classes locally and expanding out to other regions is also another goal of mine.
Q. What inspires you to be the best artist that you can be?
Other artists who push boundaries in their life and work inspire me most.
Having the ability to create and be expressive through art is a special gift that is valuable to share with others.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your art journey or inspiration so far to inspire others?
I would like to give credit to our FCA Peace River Chapter. I first joined the group for access to the amazing professional quality artist workshops. Over the years gaining technical knowledge from these masters has helped develop the tools needed to sharpen my own skills as an artist. Through these new found techniques I can now accurately produce the images spun up in my brain. This group gave access in our remote northern region to an amazingly supportive collective of art creators and teachers which I am so grateful for.
Thank you for sharing your art journey with us, Payge!
Payge can be reached by email- firstname.lastname@example.org