Marie José Gélinas
Visual Artist and Writer
I am primarily a painter of landscapes. Early on, I painted impressionistic oil paintings, inspired by places that were meaningful to me.
As I continued to evolve, I became fascinated with the textures in the landscape. I switched to acrylic paint, and began to incorporate elements that could convey the feeling of depth and dimension I sensed in the natural world. Using a variety of recycled materials, I painted tree bark, stratified rocks, ice-covered branches and shores.
The more I painted, the more I began to realize that my source was the feeling I got when I was in the landscape, more than the actual elements of the landscape. I wanted to express the energy of transformation, the hope inherent in the cyclical nature of everything, and the constant movement generated by the endless recurrence of these cycles.
My work has changed. Now, I am abstracting the landscape because it allows me to distill the connection I have to its essence.
Through this process, I learned that the story told by the landscape is my story too. In nature, I am the witness. The landscape surrounds me, but it also reaches in to connect to the part of me that belongs here. Being in nature restores my sense of belonging in this place, at this time. No matter where I am in the natural world, I can find that thread to my inner landscape.
Marie José was born in Lachine and moved to Pincourt in 1981. As a young girl, Marie José consistently observed and interpreted the world around her in pencil, charcoal, ink, and pastel.
As an adult, Marie José's creativity was channeled into practical applications; refinishing furniture, inventing teaching materials, designing games for her students, and creating posters and publicity material in the workplace.
In 2014, she took a course in oil painting and discovered the incredible benefits of immersing herself in creative work for its own sake. Since her retirement in 2017, art and writing have become front and center in her life. Ever a teacher, Marie José is now building a course designed to help connect creativity to resilience.