Suzette Boulais thank you for sharing your story, your fantastic work and for allowing us to publish all you have shared.
Our Spotlight this month turns to Suzette Boulais, a painter from Illinois, that specializes in abstract.
Take Five Q & A with Suzette Boulais
1.What’s your background in art?
I don’t have any formal background in art. I didn’t study it in high school or college and so am a bit of a late bloomer. I was raised in a household with two very artistic brothers, however, one who received a scholarship to attend Indianapolis’ Herron School of Art and so I have been surrounded by art for much of my life. I was well into my 40s when I decided to experiment with art and pursue it on own. Right from the start, with my very first painting, (which I still keep for sentimental purposes) I could see my style was leaning toward the contemporary and abstract and so have followed this path ever since.
2. What does your art aim to say?
My art aims to communicate universal, abstract concepts like peace, hope and serenity, and by doing so, offer a sense of calm to the viewer. My paintings are often abstract landscapes that use light to reflect hope, as light for me is always a spiritual, not just physical dimension of my work. With a strong interest in graphic design and a love of symbolism, my paintings are in many ways symbolic graphic designs set to color and paint. When I paint a circle, for example, I’m using it as a symbol to represent the unity of life. The sun and moon are symbols for the light of God. Birds in my paintings reflect the spiritual journey throughout our lives and water reflects the symbolic, unconscious life force.
3. Who is your biggest art influence?
My biggest influence to date is abstract expressionist Mark Rothko. I find his work with basic color schemes simple, yet sublime. On my best days when I feel my own colors and shapes are working together in harmonious ways, I hope my paintings express a small element of the sublime, too.
4. How have you developed your career?
I can’t say that I have developed a career in art. What I have developed is an avocation in art. Creating art is my joy, my passion, my therapy, my prayer, my meditation, my contemplation, my connection to Source and my soulful expression. Creating art for me coincides perfectly with the Joseph Campbell quote, “Follow your bliss.” It’s my joy and my bliss to enter the quiet and private sanctuary of my art room and see how each and every piece of art takes on a creative life all its own.
5. How do you seek out opportunities?
As a member of CIAO (Central Illinois Artist Organization) I like being aware of various opportunities to show my work along with the works of fellow CIAO artists. I have also found that promoting my art on Facebook and using my art as a backdrop to my Facebook Thoughts That Soar series where I put quotes to art, is a great way showcase some of my work. Facebook has also come in handy when making community connections when I do callouts to businesses or organizations to see if they might be interested in showing my work at their facilities. After a recent public callout I made on Facebook about some of larger pieces that were available for display, for instance, I received word from Methodist College that they would like to hang these pieces in the waiting room areas at their main campus. I was thrilled about this opportunity because it is gives the College an opportunity support local artists by displaying our work. And we artists have an opportunity to show our art in a public setting where someone can see it and make a possible purchase. And what artist doesn’t appreciate an art purchase? I certainly do. I’ve yet to get over the thrill when someone likes one of my paintings enough to buy it.
And finally, while speaking of opportunities, I’m delighted that my two friends and art colleagues, Rebecca Draland-Doyle and Jaci Willis and I will have an opportunity to present a combined art exhibit at Studios on Sheridan that opens on the First Friday of August 2020. It’s follow-up to a combined exhibit we held there several years ago and so we are over the moon about coming back to Studios on Sheridan again!