“I lay out all my paints and select which colors I will work with that day. I go by instinct. If it doesn’t work then I say, today is not for painting…I will go to a museum, I will go for a walk. I love walking on the mountain. I have started an inspiration board, like Marc Jacobs. It is in my kitchen so I can see it often and be inspired. Have you seen the documentary about him? Incredible!”
When I heard that painter Amélie Poirier quit her day job as a hairdresser to pursue her painting career full-time, I immediately wanted to meet her.
She invited me into her home to show me her paintings over a glass of white wine. We chatted about her art, how painting makes her feel, her favorite artists and exhibits, and her sources of inspiration. She loves fellow Montreal artist Corno “I painted a bust because of her, I saw her once, but I was too shy to approach her, she is amazing”. She also loves Jackson Pollack.
A piece from her latest collection. She knows she is finished a painting when she feels “satisfaction”.
Meeting Amélie is a bit like meeting Tinker Bell and Captain Hook all wrapped into one entity. She has a sweet face, a generous spirit and a higher feminine voice that sings as she talks in a very intense fashion; you cannot miss the fiery passion that burns inside her. She has wrestled many figurative alligators, and has come out of it believing, hopeful, and free.
“Painting gives me wings…I don’t know what I would have done in my life if I hadn’t discovered painting.”
She left her native small town in France because as she says “I had to leave home to find out who I was”.
She has overcome many obstacles and losses in her life, including the loss of her baby brother. The experience has become a painting that made me cry. It brought to mind cotton candy and deep cold water. “I painted it because of him, but I am not a nostalgic person.”
Her teacher told her not to paint this all red because it wouldn’t “work”. She describes how fast it flew out of her. “It felt like an adrenaline rush you experience when you run. Adrenaline, not violence.” It is called “Viva la Vida.”
You know a person has talent when you get a feeling from the painting of what it must have felt like as they were painting. Meeting Amélie and discovering her paintings, was like seeing into her soul, being invited to visualize her emotions.
“I do not frame my art, I want the energy they exude to be limitless, I want the energy to fly around the room.”
Like her paintings, Amélie cannot be contained by the usual life. When I asked her where she found the bravery to leave her job, she said “I have learned that the more I have faith, the more the universe protects me, and the more amazing things come my way. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know I will be ok. I will figure it out. Things tend to work out, when I am ready. Evolution is most important to me.” I look forward to seeing where she flies!
Marc Jacobs Documentary:
Merci Amélie, chin chin à NY! xx