There is one common denominator in all subjects that speak to me: the desire to be told. My main motivation for each painting is to share a place or a moment; to recreate an instant, and to give the impression of being there. Since each one of my subject matters is in relation to a moment I have lived that tells of a certain ambience, I like to take time and let the image develop in my mind so after a few days my memory retains but the essentials. This makes the subject authentic. My biggest quest is to capture the unseen: ultimately allowing the spectator to experience and sense the air, the light, the smells, and the sounds of a stream gurgling in the spring, the cry of the cicada or the background noise made by tires on a rainy day downtown.
In order to achieve a credible winter landscape during a heat wave, I must recall the feeling of cold and the silence of a February hike. The greatest lesson my teacher and mentor Louis Boekhout taught me is “when you paint a tree, be a tree ...”
Born in 1972 in the village of St-Émile-de-Suffolk nestled in the Outaouais region, Martin Blanchet never forgets the teachings of his master and mentor of Dutch origin whose studies at l’Académie des Beaux-Arts d’Anvers, France taught him precision in the execution of a painting, a precision he bequeathed to his student. In his late teens he then apprenticed with Louis Robichaud and continued down a self-taught path through reading and trips to Europe multiplying his museums visits. In his early years, having chosen wildlife art as a platform of expression, he participated for a period of five years in approximately 30 exhibitions and contests in France including The Fall Salon, at the Grand Palais in Paris. Among awards received Martin is most proud of a mention of honour in the figurative category at the Salon International des Seigneurs de l’Art in Aix-en-Provence, France for its jury included some students of Cézanne.
During this period his subject matter began to evolve; nature and ambience came to the forefront and animals faded into the landscapes. Rich from his experiences abroad he began a collaboration with Imagin’Art Agency, which represents him to this day, and carved himself a niche in the Québec and Canadian markets. Despite his age of only twenty-six, the Michel Bigué Gallery took him under its wing and offered him a solo in 1998.
The same year his work was presented at New York City’s Art Expo with the intent to open up the US market. Meanwhile in Canada, exhibitions multiplied and in addition to the Michel Bigué Gallery, Le Balcon d’Art, Galerie d’art Solange Lebel, Masters Gallery, Canadian Fine Arts, Towne Square Gallery and Art & Style Gallery display his work with honour.
Since one never draws enough, I appreciate the necessity of a pause from colour. This exercise drives me to visualize the image by means of the light, thus achieving the desired effects. I particularly like to blend lead with watercolour since in my view they unify remarkably on Arches paper.
Numerous articles and interviews since 1992 have covered his work. At the age of twenty, both Radio-Canada television and radio interviewed him, and then came the Journal de Montréal in 1996 followed by The Soleil and then Le Droit in both 1998 and 2011. As part of his last solo at Michel Bigué Gallery, celebrating ten years of collaboration, an exhibition catalogue of 58 pages was edited by the gallery. He has participated with editor Henri Rivard from Beaux Livres collection. Throughout the years, Canadian magazines such as Parcours and Magazin’Art have at different times published feature articles and most recently, in 2012, International Artist Magazine devoted an article entitled Like being there: Capturing the unseen.
With conviction and a will to better as his allies, Martin Blanchet continues his journey in search of the invisible …….under the watchful eyes of a long list of corporate and private collectors.