Artistic Approach

Denise Pelletier's paintings bear the traits of a passionate personality.

Her art is an invitation to travel - in every sense of the word. She is inhabited by the desire to transmit, to illustrate the vibration that radiates from each of her scenes, landscapes and still lifes. 

Oscillating between the Quebecois tradition and the European school, her unique approach characterizes her among collectors and art lovers.

 The artist portrays her subjects with vigour using frank and luminous tones. Her canvases, modeled with a spatula and brushes, reveal a creative energy free from artifice. She favours acrylic paint for its spontaneous capacity in executing her subjects. 

The fusion of field work and studio research creates a certain level of audacity throughout her work. She transposes her sketches, executed in oil pastels, freely on the canvas, leaving the impulses of the first draft very present to the eye. 

Painting happens inCarpe diem’ : the eternal present. It is a real-time dialogue with brushstrokes, colour, and intention. 

The art that emerges naturally from this state invites the viewer to slow down and inhabit the present moment.-

For Denise Pelletier, the authenticity and originality of the experience always prevail over the final results.

Hence the happiness of quick sketches, large edgy lines and rough backgrounds. The painter's traces are left as a witness of the creative process. 

Seules les traces vous font rêver.’     René Char

« Parfums, couleurs et sons se répondent » Charles Baudelaire

"We paint with color but we paint with the feeling"

Jean Baptiste Chardin

My Sources of Inspiration

Well said, mr. Chardin!

Very early on, the European painters Manet, Boudin, and Cézanne, as well as the Canadian artists of the Group of Seven, particularly Tom Thomson, inspired me greatly.

Art history led me to these giants. Their approaches have inspired my own gestures in form and colour. They still dance in front of my canvas!

Manet. Economy of tone, simplicity of composition, a love of the dark, of altered contrasts and above all, the emotion present in the moment. He dares to move away from academic conventions and overly prescribed rules. His asparagus, lemons, shallots and peonies amaze me! Three brush strokes and presto: the table is set for a masterpiece.

When I paint, Manet lives in me. 

Boudin. One of the first to paint outdoors, in the wind by the sea. I remember his seascapes for their fiery quality, capped with puffy clouds. Vanilla and pink skies: such daring!

When I paint, Boudin lives in me.

Cézanne. The structure that underlies his compositions and the geometry on which his genius is extended, sings. His tracing of shapes and plans based on his search for truth resonates strongly. Rejecting the merely pretty, exploring outside convention, Cézanne sculpts his subjects on canvas. He leaves his mark, barely sketching his backgrounds. His still lifes, in particular, radiate splendour.

When I paint, Cézanne lives in me.

Mona Hatoum, the great multidisciplinary, contemporary artist of Palestinian origin, touches me with her deep humanity. She denounces conflict in the world, forcing us to confront our shadow side. Her social commitment resonates with my own desire to create a better world. Art can be a vector of hope. I had the chance to see her works in New York, London, and Ottawa. She always evokes deep emotion.

When I paint, Mona Hatoum lives in me.

Tom Thomson: mastery, audacity, passion. His mastery of drawing outdoors appeals to me. His audacity in the unfinished, and his passion for nature in its pure expression devoid of any artifice, inspire me to break my subject down to the essential. On the fringes of tradition, he magnifies the landscape with his indelible signature.  

When I paint, Tom Thomson lives in me.

Travels and inspiration

The lure of travel has shaped the curve of her life. Inhabited by an irresistible need to punctuate daily life with discoveries, brushes in hand. She wanted to find herself somewhere other than her comfort zone. Facing new horizons was her most ardent wish, so over the last few years she have traveled to several countries such as Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, France, Morocco and Croatia. . They offered her great opportunities to reproduce the exoticism of these places on the web. She was won over by this learning which nourished her so much.

It is a joy to dive into "elsewhere" lulled by the exotic, charmed by the musicality of the language, seduced by new landscapes, captivated by the ambient scents. Attracted by less traveled paths, she takes them cheerfully and weaves new friendships according to the encounters and chances of the moment. Of course, there is painting, but also and ... above all, the encounter with the other. Valuable friendships overseas remain to this day.  

Over the years, it will tread the soil of the regions of Tuscany, Provence, Marrakech, Fez and Tangier, the Islands of Santorini, Korcula and Corsica, the Scottish Borders, the counties of Dublin and Tipperary then Taos in the center of New Mexico. All these destinations offered him dreamed opportunities to reproduce on the web the exoticism of these places, conquered by this stimulating learning in the heart of the regions, in the field.

Painting on a beach, blinded by the sun or in fields of hay, lavender or rapeseed with the four winds, guides the gesture and stimulates freedoms on the canvas. Painting the alleys, the clotheslines, the balconies with the murmurs of the city encourages him to display new colors. 

She brings back to life these people, these landscapes, their daily life in its simplest form.

The journey edifies the daily life, pushes the painter to go beyond the déjà vu, the already explored. Uncertainty and novelty reinforce the artist in his risk-taking, in his spontaneous outbursts in front of the canvas. 

Voyage, viages, trip, viaggio,  reise, putovanje, viatges, bidaia, viaxe… Just reading these translations of the word travel gives you wings!


Experiences, Exhibitions, and Journeys

European Workshops

Vibrant nodding poppies in Tuscany, intoxicating lavender fields in Provence, Monet’s fabled gardens in Giverny - in order to step outside of the frame and into new ways of seeing, she participates in painting workshops in these storied locales in the company of other North American artists. These new landscapes, new companions, and new colours find expression on her canvases. 

Art Gallery

She admits that it takes audacity to ring the doorbell of an art gallery, and reveal herself in front of the ‘connoisseurs’ to find a niche. Several positive experiences have emerged from these meetings: a collective exhibition in New York, and in Aix-en-Provence, and a solo exhibition. Over the years, gallery owners have exhibited her art in Toronto, Vancouver, Baie-St-Paul and Quebec. These experiences always serve to push her creativity into new territory.  


Why she loves Symposium-type meetings? Painting live with thirty other artists in front of a discriminating audience for five consecutive days is a marathon that nourishes her on multiple levels. These events foster a nurturing, creative connection with the artistic community, and with the community at large.

Creative Workshop Animation

From the bucolic setting of Charlevoix to the urban Ottawa high school classroom, Denise Pelletier experiences great joy in guiding groups of painters from all age groups.

From time to time she also shared her passion for the arts with children in a day camp setting. The young ones have taught her that the end result is often less important than immersing oneself in the flow of creativity. 

When she paints, she reconnects with the innocence and creative potential of her inner child.