Lu Robitaille has been a professional landscape artist for 15 years. She lives in Victoria Harbour, Ontario.
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Lu, thank you for answering my questions. Is there a particular event that triggered your desire to become a painter?
Lu Robitaille: My uncle was an artist. I remember as a child enjoying every minute watching him paint in his little studio. My husband was not fond of me doing crafts, encouraging me to paint like him. He and my aunt spent a weekend with us at our Island home and he too encouraged me to paint. His visit with us inspired him to paint and finish eight pieces of which he signed the night before he died. I knew then, that fate was calling me to continue in his footsteps.
CM: You call yourself a realist. How does it translate into what you paint?
LR: I’m a story teller. I’ve written a series of folklore songs and poems of Georgian Bay. I love to cook with the wild foods of the bay. As a visual artist I suppose it gives me one more opportunity to express myself. Being a realist permits me to unveil the magic of this magnificent part of the world in a Technicolor.
CM: Your water color technique is quite unique. In fact, it is very close to what a poet does when they write traditional haiku. How do you achieve that effect?
LR: I’m not familiar with traditional haiku but with my work, I build layer upon layer of opaque water colour, beginning with a lighter wash and ending witha thicker consistency. Unlike the traditional water colour artist, I go against the golden rules. I use a great deal of white and black pigment.
CM: How many pieces have you painted in your career? Which one is your absolute favorite (and why)?
LR: I would think I’ve painted about 800 throughout my life. Take into consideration that many were miniatures.
My absolute favorite piece I kept for our family. I painted a beautiful sunset of the point we once lived on. It was a special time in my life when we returned as guests to spend a night with friends. The sunset was the most spectacular I had seen in all the years I lived there. To share it with those you love dearly, makes it that much more precious. Of course when I see it, it takes me back home to Tadenac, where life was simple and pure.
CM: You are in the process of creating a coffee table book featuring your own poems and paintings. Would you tell us a little more about that?
LR: For several years friends have encouraged me to write a book about my life experiences on the Georgian Bay. I’m not sure I’m ready for a biography or a memoire. To publish a coffee table book with my poems, paintings and brief story about how the painting came to be, would be like wetting the appetite for readers and art appreciators. It would lend itself well to what I do as a visual artist today, without taking me away from what I love best. Painting. Down the road when time permits, perhaps a story of my life experiences would evolve naturally.
CM: Where do you see yourself in five years?
LR: Too often people think of artists as starving artists. I would like to brake that slogan. I would like to be living proof for the youth that follow in our footsteps, that you can support a family as an artist. They need support and I would like to be a mentor.
Seriously…… What would life be without the beauty of music, dance, theatre, literature?
CM: Where can people find more information about you and your work?
LR: You can always begin by looking at my website www.lurobitailleartist.com. If you like what you see don’t hesitate to call me. My husband and I would love to show you our home studio here at Cedar Brook Farm and perhaps answer any questions you might have. Perhaps my work will encourage you to discover Georgian Bay. Come see for yourself.
End of the interview.
Cendrine Marrouat may be contacted for potential interviews, reviews and general enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org
Official website: www.cendrinemarrouat.com