Diane Boudreau

North Slave

Artist Story

I made the decision quite some time ago to live my life a certain way. I realized I needed to focus more time on my painting to take it to the next level and become a better painter. I think that if you work the whole day then your brain sits on a shelf and it doesn’t work for art. So I left my day job and with continuous support from the NWT Arts Council, was able to become a full-time artist.

My background in environmental design, biology and scenic painting, are the driving forces behind my artwork. Since I moved to Yellowknife in the year 2000, I have done a lot of murals and painting outside in the summer. I produced a collection of paintings every five years and this collection hangs on the outside of Centre Square Mall in downtown Yellowknife.

In 2010, I started going into the communities to do art workshops with students. I have learned a lot from teaching youth to paint and express themselves this way. Having to concentrate my years of knowledge into a few minutes; it is a good exercise of creativity.

I am not one to say I am passionate. My art is my work, and as people, we do our work to try to improve. Every time I finish a painting I get this confidence, and that is the best thing to teach me for the next one. 

Artist Bio: 

Diane Boudreau, artist-biologist, living in Yellowknife since 2000. She started to paint insects on t-shirts at the beginning, there are a lot here and they are part of the micro-landscape. Diane took her microscope and observed the various species that are up north. Drawing and painting insects gives her the opportunity to travel, participate in festivals and learn about communities.

She also paint plants, mostly the ones she has observed under the microscope. She did a series of watercolours for Nahanni Park interpretation centre. She is interested in promoting landscape art in the north so started creating animal sculptures with rocks. She has made numerous ephemeral installations of insects on abandoned sites or hidden in the landscape and uses local materials from the various sites.

In 2002, Diane requested a grant from the NWT Council for the Arts to be able to make landscape art. She created 5 big sculptures made of piled rocks and core samples. The dimensions are approximately 4 meters by 2 meters. There is a fish, made of flat rocks from the shore of Great Slave Lake, a beaver made of core samples and sand, a coleopteran, a caddisfly larvae and a dragonfly made of angular and blasted rocks from construction sites in the surrounding. They are located within the Yellowknife city limits.

In 2003, she received another grant from the NWT Council for the Arts to create a cork raft (4 meters by 4 meters) with a caddisfly larvae on top of it. She had been collecting the corks since 1993 and gathered 17,600 corks to built the raft.

Diane enjoys what she is doing in the North and there are many ways to explore the land in terms of landscape art. She tries to combine together what she learned in environmental design, biology and entomology.

Last Updated: May 25, 2023

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