Sylvain Coulombe

Montréal, Canada



The feeling inside me is my main inspiration, all of my environment and all that I have lived is unconsciously digested so that later I can transpose it in my work, in what I am.

I like to meditate and feel free of thought before I paint. I simply cannot work after being in traffic. My main quality is to transform things, I love it. If someone wanted to give me a gift, just put me in a junk yard and I will spend the day as a kid, just being in the present moment… So painting for me is just playing with feelings in transforming colors and texture, until something starts talking to me, at that point I know that the playing is almost finish, it could take a couple of months, that’s why I’m always working on 15 to 20 paintings at the same time. 80% of my work is without thinking, the other 20% is to understand what is going on, after that I homogenize the work and make it cleaner.

often, a couple of days after the work is finished, it’s as if it wasn’t me who did it. I ask myself how and where did I find this story and I think that I’m here to reveal things for a reason, I don’t even know what that is, but I know that somewhere there is somebody for each work that I do, who will know this reason, who will love to abandon himself into it, and in this way, to understand a bit more about who he is and who we all are. This is my role. I want to help people connect. I believe in the butterfly effect, and I want my work to participate positively.

I believe in the perseverance of work, so even if I don’t feel it, I go in my atelier and start doing cleaning and usually the mood of playing with colors comes to me, after that the day just passes by so fast. For the quality of my family life I learned to work 8 to 4, Monday to Friday, and a couple of hours during the week-end. I’m a bit of a workaholic, because it’s so easy for me to be there physically, without being there completely, that’s another reason to meditate and stop thinking. With the help of my soul mate and fiancé, I spend more time with the life of non-working, just having fun and enjoying my time.

I always felt a void inside me when I was not creating. From a very young age, until 14 years old I was drawing all the time, and then I stopped. I don’t know why; I had no artistic friends and I guess I was discovering the world and myself with the turmoil of adolescence. At the age of 22 I started buying old furniture to restore it, and then to sell it. Eventually, I started to build furniture the old-fashioned way. I was doing old finishes, a patina, with paint of naturel pigment, casein (milk protein) and bug’s resin (kind of antique shellac). That was my wake-up call with art…and I just began to reconnect with myself, I can say that I was living in a bubble before that…

After a few of years, I wanted to do more, so I did a baccalaureate in environment design (industrial design and architecture), and for the first time I was excited to go to school! My imagination just went off like a rocket. My girlfriend and I built our home with recycled materials…… it started, just for fun, doing all kind of objects, lighting, furnishings, sculpture with recycled materials …. then I started selling them. At one point I wanted to put colors on my concrete bas-relief, so I started playing with acrylic paint, it wasn’t very good, so I said to myself that I had to learn to paint….it took me almost a year to finish my first painting, but it felt so good that painting became my main focus after that.

I began painting 15 hours per week for contracts and friends. In 2009 I donated a 4’x4’ painting for fund raising for the disaster in Haiti, and because of that I started showing in my first gallery, la galerie blanche, in the old Montreal. Things started going really well so after a year I jumped at the opportunity to do it full-time!

I can say that since I started painting full-time I’m a better person, I’m growing everyday (and I’m not talking about my belly…) each day is a real art-therapy for me, and I cannot imagine my life without it, even if sometimes I am disturbed with my work, I feel so much better when the answer is revealed…. this is not a job, this is a dream, that’s why I say that I retired at 38 years old!

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