Artistic Statement

Artist Statement

"I paint as I feel.
I do not paint what I see, I construe what I feel."

My artwork is recognizable by its sheaves of colors that evoke pyrotechnics: Bouquets of light that transform each of my works on glass or on canvas into a feast of sparkles and twinkles. Vibrant beams, outbursts, cascades of peonies, palm leaves, flash rockets and report shells, and weeping willows... My paintings are driven by a gesture that is becoming more and more precise over time, my movement reaching new depths in an incessant quest for capturing light in motion.

It is an incandescent process that characterizes me as fireworks illuminating the sky. I have been devoting myself for years into searching, testing, and developing this pictorial style that reflects my life, expresses my thoughts, transcends my memories, and dresses up my dreams. A trajectory that deliberately avoids the straight line, inspired by the mountains I now prefer to the Manitoba meadows among which I have lived for sixteen years.

My style is not only willingly explosive: Using off-the-wall media surfaces also influences my approach. At this stage of my art, glass and mirror are calling me on, because they allow one to see the first application of paint at the backside of the glass, then the final touch on the front of the work. The viewer can therefore simultaneously appreciate the first and last step of the production and get a glimpse of the path of creation, which becomes part of his personal experience. From the first trait of color to the last brushstroke, from earth to stars, this artistic approach is an invitation to discover the arcane of the act of creating.

This approach, this reasoning, requires a constant search for media surfaces at glaziers, hardware stores, Plexiglas makers, masons and even gravestones manufacturers or spacers. All possible materials come into play. This itinerary from one medium to another, from one work to another, expresses my search for continuity, my desire to renew my imaginary, to dare an always transformed practice, as it shows in my large pieces measuring up to 36" x 80".

Precious accomplices help me on a technical level. My choice of material arouses a lot of questions, difficulties, and stimulates a necessary ingenuity. How do you hang a 35-pound glass-made work on a gypsum wall? How do you safely deliver glass and mirror works to Nova Scotia or California? Who can make custom crates for delivering such works?

I often work surrounded by 25 pots of paint, all open, letting my imagination and color guide my actions. I use the technique a musician would describe as jazz improvisation, where gestures must spurt out naturally, and where too many returns or retouching would spoil spontaneity, instantaneity of the primal significance. A stream of colors, like a fete or a well-stocked table, carries each work.

Neither method, nor movement should be frozen. None of my works resembles the previous one. Relentlessly, I'm looking for that unique moment where magic sets in, where beauty speaks, where I can say, "That's it, I won’t touch it anymore: everything is there!" My goal is the aesthetic quintessence. Harmony is the proof of everything. I never repeat or correct, because the act of painting, automatist, must be self-sufficient.

My artistic vision does not underlie any political, social, theoretical or anecdotal message. The aestheticism appropriate to decorative art is paramount. Because my paintings are overflowing with color, they require a stripped-down environment. My motivation is exclusively devoted to decorative art, and finds its echo in the physical setting of my personal workshop. This space of creation presents itself as a minimalist environment, bright, and where white is most prominent. It is a pure jewel case where my works can crack the air. My communication with the art lover deploy themselves through this studio which is both a physical representation of my faith as an artist and a place of exchange with the collectors who experience from the first look, from the first interrogation, the beginning of their interpretation of my artistic identity.

The Art Studio that bears my name is a new location that expresses my ardent desire to dedicate myself entirely to my art and my aesthetic quest. I want my works to make their way into the hearts of visual art lovers and find their place in their living space. My creative approach is the reflection of my life: complex, polychrome, varied, a rather joyful pandemonium, to better access, each time, to a new level of my expansion.

My commitment translates in a longing for blazing beauty. I like that a collector exclaims spontaneously: "It's a beautiful painting, I want it!" Rather than hearing an admirer ask: "What did she mean by that?" My commitment to decorative art is above all guided by pure emotion. When I paint, I throb, I vibrate, I dance, and I am having a wild time. And if I succeed to arouse this state of mind in the eventual buyer, it is for me the ultimate recognition.

I sign my works on the backside and I often leave it to the buyer to choose a title for the painting. Why is that? Because my works are now easy to identify, their style is unique, personal, and intrinsic. I also want to give the clients the freedom and the choice to decide which way they will hang the piece, according to their interpretation, according to the wall destined to it. I have one day stopped entitling my creations. I owe it to a Native purchaser who once declared, in front of a canvas which I considered as unfinished: "this one, it's the autumn of the Indian summer." Such a title would never have come to my mind, but was obvious to the new owner. So, I paint and I let you title the work according to your own perception. This particular stage encourages a joyful, moving and meaningful interaction for both the artist and the buyer.

My soul walks the path of my hand and paintbrushes.
I am what I paint.

Biography

After a certificate of floristry, a Bachelor of Arts and a Master's degree in Education obtained at Université de Montréal, Lise Tanguay Chowdhury continues her career in the field of human resources (Université de Montreal, Merrill Lynch, Design et Communication Inc., Hilton International, Hercules Canada, Holt Renfrew, Ramca and The Mutual Group, Sun Life) prior to becoming Vice President of Human Resources for an international company that led her to live in Winnipeg and St. Louis, MI.

In 2000, she wrote her doctoral thesis Designing a Brain Compatible Organization - Lao Tzu vs. Napoleon, presented to 122 organizations member of the North America's Fortune 500.

In 2012, like it happens only in movies, her family cell in Manitoba explodes and she breaks with her career path. She returns to the fold disoriented and disenchanted. She rediscovers her native Quebec, after eighteen years away, where everything has changed. Painting becomes her therapy, her survival mode, and her path to healing. She decides to paint with both hands and devotes all her time to it. In March 2017, she inaugurates her own creative place, the Studio d'art Lise Tanguay Chowdhury, in Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard (QC).

Exhibitions

Club de Golf Le Balmoral, Saint-Sauveur (2016)
Salon du Design, SIDIM, Montréal (2017)
Galerie d’Art Pauline T. Paquin, Saint-Sauveur (2017)

Lise Tanguay Chowdhury
in 5 words

Expansion

I am in a continuous state of evolution. I feed my growth. I keep learning new techniques, new ways to practice, and new philosophies.

Action

I transpose on various media surfaces the inner fireworks that light my soul and burn the tip of my fingers.

Values

Live and let live. Those who judge will never understand.

Motto

The slow and steady wins.

Influences

Lao Tzu. Architecture. Minimalism. Biographies revealing courage and ingenuity like the one of Barbe Nicole Clicquot née Ponsardin « Veuve Clicquot ». The wickedness of V.S. Naipaul. The disarming genius of Yousuf Karsh. The weirdness of Toulouse-Lautrec. The conceitedness of Frank Lloyd Wright. The funny absurdity of Tina Fey. The greatness of William Hearst. And most of all, the life and architectural work of Julia Morgan.

Chronology

1977

Obtained a florist certificate and dreamed of owning my own shop. My most successful pieces were funeral wreaths!

1987

Completed a Bachelor of Arts at the Université de Montréal

1990

Completed a Master of Education at the Université de Montréal

2000

Wrote my PhD dissertation, “Designing a Brain Compatible Organization—Lao Tzu vs. Napoleon,” which I never defended but instead presented to 122 Fortune 500 companies across North America.

1977 à 1993

Worked in mostly human resources positions within a variety of companies: Université de Montréal, Merrill Lynch, Design et Communication Inc., Hilton International, Hercules Canada, Holt Renfrew, Ramca, The Mutual Group, and Sun Life Ontario.

1994 à 2007

Worked as Vice President of Human Resources for an international company, commuting between Winnipeg and St. Louis, Missouri, for 13 years.

2012

My family life in Manitoba erupted in the war and hate that major conflicts of values and culture can cause. I returned home disoriented, lost, disenchanted, and confused. After 18 years of absence, Quebec had changed. Painting became my therapy, my means of survival, my cure. Operation: Rebuild.

2016

World Book and Copyright Day: my poetry was selected for a public reading at Mont Tremblant. Various texts (Doux maître Marco, Le Monsieur des bouteilles, I used to be so pretty, etc.) can be found on my website at LiseTanguayChowdhury.com.

2016

Exhibit at the Balmoral Golf Club The challenge: the lighting haunts me and does not do justice to my work.

2017 - mars

Opening of my art gallery at 500 Montée Val de Loire, Saint-Adolphe-d'Howard.

2017 - mai

Exhibit at the Salon du Design (SIDIM).

The sum of my choices, the common thread, and my practices.

One word: DEVELOPMENT. Am I growing? Am I pursuing growth? Am I learning new techniques, new methods, new philosophies?

I intend: to live from my art by producing vibrant pieces that recall Holi, India's festival of colour.

I act: to produce works that delight buyers and allow me to express myself like a firecracker bursting through the air.

The outcome: a life that has left many people confused (me most of all), but each fracas takes its place along an enamoured path of coherence.

What makes me original? My transparency. My technique. The surge of colours. The generosity of material.

How do I stand out? Each work is a celebration, like a family dinner at a well-stocked table.

My values? Live and let live. When we understand, we cannot judge. We all have the right to live as we see fit.

My message? Slow and steady wins the race of life.

I am influenced by: architecture and minimalism. Biographies of innovative personalities that reveal the Veuve Clicquot’s courage and ingenuity, V. S. Naipaul’s wickedness, Yousuf Karsh’s simple genius, Toulouse-Lautrec’s peculiarity, Frank Lloyd Wright’s pretention, Tina Fey’s absurdity, William Hearst’s greatness, and the life and architecture of the pioneering Julia Morgan.

And since I'm listing my influences, where does the name Tanguay Chowdhury come from? Tanguay is my maiden name. Chowdhury is my one and only daughter’s name, with roots in Bangladesh. Sharing my daughter’s name is primordial, essential, non-negotiable for both of us. Bearing the name Chowdhury shows my responsibility to the child I brought into this world, who needs a concrete sign that her mother has no qualms about taking on this major element of both of our lives, which are connected by flesh and blood. Not taking the name Chowdhury would send a message to this child who needs me that her name is bothersome, that it’s easier for the world to call me Tanguay, but simplicity is not my goal. The point is to declare a lifetime commitment to my child, who needs as much support as possible, in a society that sometimes makes snap judgments. I’m sorry if Lise Tanguay Chowdhury is an unusual name and requires some effort, but that's the whole point: I'm not afraid of complexity, and hard work doesn't scare me either—not in life or in my work.

Sometimes saying I love you isn’t enough. It says more to show that I’m perfectly capable of becoming more complex because of this love, since to truly love someone is sometimes complicated.

My sympathies: Lao Tzu (the basis of my dissertation).

My interferences: reductionist minds: Yes but, and if you just...