Patricia Langevin is a contemporary abstract painter living and working in Calgary, Alberta. Her engaging paintings are created intuitively in an expressionist style and are infused with movement and depth. We interviewed Patricia to learn more about her practice, inspirations, and what she is working on today.
1. How does your creative day look like and what inspires you to make art? Has your creative day changed due to Covid-19?
I’m inspired by nature, by other artists and I often get inspired during the creative process. A creative day starts by going in my studio and observing. I like to look at a painting that is progressing with fresh eyes. If I’m starting a new painting, I like to gather colour inspiration by looking at magazines or going on Pinterest. Then I will create colour swatches and test them out in a sketchbook. I like to work on paintings in short time intervals, letting them dry and coming back to them a few more times during the day. I also like to work on multiple artworks at a time to keep the momentum going. During Covid-19, the time I spent in the studio increased because so much time was spent at home.
2. Tell us more about your art studio.
I’m lucky to have a home studio in my home, in the basement. It’s a medium-size room, approximately 13 by 9 feet. To maximize the use of the space, I installed shelves to store paints, brushes, and other materials that I use. I also installed a grid of screws on one wall where I hang my canvasses to paint. I have a large table in the middle of the space where I set up the paints I’m working on as well my brushes, tools, rags, and my wet palettes.
3. How did you first get interested in your medium/s?
When I started painting, I was immediately interested in acrylics because of the quick drying time compared to oil. Because I was eager to learn, acrylics seemed the most appropriate choice at the time. I eventually tried oil paint with cold wax, and I found it interesting to work with, but acrylics was still my first choice.
4. Describe your style in one sentence.
My paintings are colourful, in an abstract expressionist style, communicating energy and emotions using bold, dynamic brushstrokes and mark making.
5. Has your style changed over time?
When I first started painting abstract, my style was mostly abstract landscapes but has changed over time. In the past two or three years, I experimented with different styles and mediums such as abstract watercolours botanicals, collage, and other mixed media. My style is now abstract expressionist. I’m limiting the materials that I use which has allowed me to focus more on being expressive with paint, brushstrokes, and mark marking.
6. What are your main artistic tools?
I use different types of brushes. Some are from the hardware store, and others are good-quality brushes from the art store. I also use palette knives and paint scrappers to apply paint or to scratch through to reveal layers underneath. Other tools are wax crayons, graphite, and pencils.
7. Do you ever experience creativity blocks and how do you stay positive and inspired?
I do! One way that helps me stay positive is by allowing myself to put painting aside and go do something that I enjoy. This usually involves outdoor activities such as walking, running, or biking. Exercising really helps me put things in perspective and allows me to come back to the studio refreshed and ready to take on new challenges. I get inspired by listening to podcasts about other artists. Learning about their process, challenges and success is a good way to stay motivated.
8. What artists - either contemporary or from history - have had an impact on you and your art practice?
There are many! A few who inspire me are Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombly, Franz Kline, Jason Craighead, Claire Desjardins, Heather Day. These artists all have distinct and unique abstract styles that I find fascinating and keep me inspired to work in the abstract.
9. Do you think the art world has changed or will be changing due to the pandemic? If yes, how?
I think the pandemic has increased the time people are spending online. My hope is that more artists will be discovered online and will be able to show their artwork in a more accessible way.
10. What project are you working on right now? What would you like to do next?
I’m currently working on a series named “Possibility” that I started during the pandemic. I plan on expanding the body of work in this series and find seeds of inspiration for my next series.