Martin Brouillette: New Paintings for a Brighter Spring

"The driving force that compels me to create these paintings lies in the fact that I am a solitary, self-restrained, and quiet person. However, at the same time, a part of me would love to be extravagant and excessive. But I keep these feelings discreetly inside of me. I rarely allow myself to be unreasonable or outrageous. So, I see my paintings as the expression of that extravagance and need for excess, which lies inside me. By doing these paintings, I allow my camp alter-ego to shine out and be seen. This shall explain my irresistible attraction for bold shapes, bright colors, and dramatic contrast.”


Colors Are Everything, 2021. Oil on canvas, 84 x 72 in / 213.4 x 182.9 cm

Like so many of us over the course of the last 16 months of the pandemic, contemporary artist Martin Brouillette has been dealing with feelings of isolation, disconnect and at times, anxiousness.

And like many artists during this time, he has found a way through his art to channel those feelings into a greater sense of relief and joyful expression. Moving through his discomfort and decidedly leaving his sense of powerless-ness at his studio door, Brouilette has embarked on a journey of freedom and joy with his new series of large-scale paintings, each work either 72 x 96 or 84 x 72 inches, a journey in which he’s been able to experience more hope, excitement and a new sense of play.


A Big and Bold Idea, 2021. Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 in / 182.9 x 243.8 cm

Since arriving to New York last Fall, certain motifs and shapes have been reoccurring throughout Brouillette’s paintings. These shapes refer to the natural and organic world, and reflect the romantic and optimistic aspects of the artist’s personality. They also reinforce a sense of renewal like nature itself – how things constantly regenerate and bloom out of or even despite gloomy circumstances. In his new series, Brouillette creates compositions in which impressions of flowers, leaves, branches and blossoms seem to burst out of the more static digital brush marks. Using spring-like colors of pale pinks, bright greens, the artist adds further suggestion to the overall sense of ‘new life’ we may be experiencing now in a more vaccinated world. 


Unrestrained - A Jolly Outburst, 2021. Oil on canvas, 72 x 96 in / 182.9 x 243.8 cm


This new series of paintings are inspired by Martin Brouillette’s digital drawings, which he initially creates on his iPad before translating over to the canvas. For the artist, it is at first a very intuitive process, primarily focusing on shapes, colors, space and composition. Using his instincts, he puts these elements together with additional attention to structure and style. For Brouillette, who draws every day, he sees these drawings as a form of journaling that inform the basis of his paintings. He works within a logic that is layered, and each layer involves its own idiom and symbols, constantly aiming to establish some conflicts while maintaining a sense of harmony in my compositions. At the same time, the artist looks for the coexistence and co-dependence between formal elements. By investigating structure vs. disorder and control vs. impulse, he looks to create interactions between contraries. 


Tough As Steel Yet Still Tender, 2021. Oil on canvas, 84 x 72 in / 213.4 x 182.9 cm


A selection of Martin Brouillette's paintings will be featured in Waterhouse & Dodd's Spring Contemporary exhibit opening early June, 2021. For more information on the artist and to see additional works, please visit his Artist page HERE.


May 25, 2021