Felix Girard is a painter, an illustrator and an architecture student.
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: Felix’s mother and father are both painters and it’s by observing them and by spending time in the family workshop that he learned to draw and to paint.
His interest for creation conducted him to pursue his learning in different kinds of art: leather, wood and metal work, music, design, etc. But painting has always been his favourite medium. Felix ambition in painting is to build up is own personal world populated with bizarre characters and imaginary sceneries. He tries to understand the world by constructing a new one…
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We had the luck and honor to interview this 22 years old artist and present an exclusive showcase of 40 of his paintings that will for sure impress the eye of art loving people.
Q: Hello Felix and welcome to PxlEyes community. Please tell us a few words about yourself.
First, thank you very much for this invitation. I’m a 22 years old illustrator and artist from Quebec, Canada. I grew up in a hilly forest close to Quebec City in a family of artists; both my father and my mother are painters. I never had any real education in art; I learned by watching them in their workshop and by getting some tips from them.
As far as I can remember I always drew and knew that I would be a painter someday. When I was fourteen, I started to work as a portraitist in my home town and began to make a few paintings. In 2007, after college, I made some exhibitions in Quebec’s pubs and cafés and was pleasantly surprised by the welcoming of my work.
Then, I decided to fly in Europe for a year. I settled in Lyon, France, and spend my time there making paintings and visiting museums and other Europeans cities. I was very fortunate to have a deal with an art collector which made the financial aspect of the trip much easier.
Back to Quebec City, I continued to do my commissions and my paintings but decided to start University. I wanted to extend my field of work to something new so I choose architecture instead of art. I thought that combining art and architecture could lead to make some really interesting projects. And here I am for now; I’m currently in Finland for the last year of my studies.
Q: Your paintings are simply wonderful. What kind of materials do you use?
I simply use acrylic painting on watercolor paper or canvas. I like acrylic because it’s easy to use and you don’t have any drying time. I usually start by making some sketches of my idea and then I make a detailed drawing on the paper or the canvas. When the composition is done, I take one color (usually yellow ochre) and start to work on shadows and lights. Then, I put several layers with low opacity of different colors one after another until I’m satisfied with the result.
It’s a long process that demands some concentration; I can’t really make any mistake since I work with a technique similar to watercolor. Depending of the complexity of the painting, it takes between 25 and 35 hours to get a painting done from the drawing to the end.
“Summer House 2011″
Q: Is there a certain feeling or mood you want to express through your work?
Some of my friends have noticed that I rarely draw smiling people. I think that when I start a drawing I tend to give to the characters my own feeling of the moment; and usually when I draw I’m more concentrate and serious than smiling and excited. I guess that it could be one explanation.
But being a calm person in general I think that I’m naturally closer to some pensive or nostalgic moods. I think that nostalgia is a recurrent theme in my work but I always try to deal with it in a positive way. Besides, painting is for me a way to learn about myself and to solve some questions. Each painting is related to a very specific time and mood in my life.
“Urban Pole 2010″
Q: Do you also digitally paint? Or any other special skills?
Since I was surrounded by traditional artists during my childhood I was thought that traditional techniques are always more valuable and authentic than digital techniques, but today I don’t believe it anymore. I see digital painting as a good medium that can leads to some wonderful pieces of art. Unfortunately, I had very little time to try it and I must admit that I still prefer the feeling of the real paint, of the matter.
Indeed, I have always been interested in materials of all kinds. As a teenager, I tried the work of wood, leather and metal. I spent some summer making my own wood furniture and I even made up my own forge with an old barbecue and a drier motor… Those interests are probably what led me to subscribe for architectural studies; I always loved to combine practical and artistic issues together.
Q: Do you have any ongoing projects?
For now I’m focusing on finishing my studies in architecture but I will be done in June so I plan to travel again a little bit in Europe. After that I will probably continue to make some commissions but I really want to push further my personal paintings and to take some time to readjust my schedule according to my priorities. I have to say that architectural studies are really demanding and I had less time than I wanted during the past three years to work on my personal projects.
Now I take a short break with architecture but I’ll be back to it one day for sure.
“Sunshine under the Rain 2009″
Q: A little piece of advice please, for the young painters just starting out.
Keep drawing! That’s the most important thing. And don’t be discouraged if you can’t achieve what’s in your head at the first time. Those things take time, you got to try and try again. But don’t fix yourselves some unreachable goals; just try to improve from one drawing to the other, that’s already a lot.