Vancouver artist Paul Paquette doesn’t like doing things the same way all the time.
“I always fear getting into a rut,” said Paquette, whose recent paintings are on exhibit at the Adele Campbell Gallery on Saturday (Jan. 12).
Born in Cornerbrook, N.L., in 1962, his family moved to Montreal in 1964, Winnipeg in 1970, and finally to Vancouver six years later.
In Vancouver, Paquette became a regular attendee at the Basic Inquiry Studio on Main Street and in the years that followed taught several classes there, including portrait painting and human anatomy. He also taught art courses for the Vancouver School Board Continuing Education Program, including drawing and watercolour painting.
Although originally trained as a graphic artist and illustrator, Paquette developed his skills as a painter in hopes of starting a full-time career in the medium. A decade later, Paquette is hosting his 10th show at the Adele Campbell Gallery.
The solo exhibition shows Paquette’s wide range of subjects and canvas sizes, ranging from village scenes to beautiful landscapes.
“Many of the paintings are from my recent trip to Italy,” he said. “It was one of the best trips in terms of collecting references, sketching and taking pictures I could use later.”
In addition to beautiful renderings of Tuscan streets and the cobblestones of Florence, the exhibit also has paintings of B.C.’s landscapes, inspired by Paquette’s meanderings in the province’s parks and hiking trails.
“There is a little bit more experimentation of style in these more recent works,” he said. “I’m just trying to shake things up a bit. I experiment with different colours and brushwork. I look at what other artists are doing and try to take a fresh approach. Sometimes I add an unexpected flourish of colour, which forces me to use other colours… force a different approach. Basically, I let my imagination run with it.”
Discover Paquette’s imagination and talent from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Adele Campbell Gallery. The event is free of charge.