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Christine Vaillancourt

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"My paintings have the look and feel of encaustic without the fragility. After much experimentation over several years, I developed a technique of manipulating acrylic gel mediums to look like wax. As part of the process, I apply multiple translucent layers trapping the geometric shapes beneath and allowing some shapes to pop the surface. The result is an implied and actual depth.


The imagery in my work evokes contemporary industrial urban design and architecture while the motifs draw inspiration from patterns and designs of the 1950s, the period of my childhood in Detroit, Michigan. The Modernist home I grew up in was filled with objects and materials that made a major impact on the direction of my art, from the patterns of our bold geometric drapes, translucent patterned Formica countertops, bulbous lamp stands, stylized wallpaper, and Russell Wright pottery, to our home’s linoleum square-tiled floors. Like many Detroiters, our family had a long history with the automotive industry. Trained by his father, my father began his career in automotive and aircraft design and later evolved into home design and construction. Thus I grew up in this creative atmosphere, stimulated by my surroundings, and intrigued by the transportation, architectural and industrial concepts of the times.


While my paintings do reference present day architecture and design, I hope to connect the viewer to the past. The translucent layers reveal forms beneath the surface, much like leaves buried in pond ice. The bold geometric forms are not hard-edged, but rather imperfect, soft-edged, slightly weather worn, revealing the human hand. As though suspended in an aquarium-like space, the shapes appear poised to move and sometimes gently bump the end of the painting. The work is meant to create a mood of time passing, as well as a timeless connection to the future."

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