Nathalie St-Amant

oil painting

Tofino & Montreal, BC

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In 1988, after receiving my Collage degree in Visual Fine Arts, I left the academic art world and choose to experience the rich underground art scene of the street life in Montreal and soon was in search for an environment that would encourage artist lifestyle in a nature setting. My quest took me to Tofino, a village on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in Clayoquot Sound. I lived in an abandoned draft dodger's cabin, deep in the old growth forest, possessed by the spirit of Emily Carr, who wrote, "There is something bigger than fact: the underlying spirit, all it stands for, the mood, the vastness, the wildness." This same spirit incubated my work's mysticism and the desire to sense and interpret its reality.

I began to explore landscape painting, apprenticed to Josephine Fletcher, and other painters living in Clayoquot sound.

The forest is a living Cathedral and I found relief within her wild beauty.

I soon lost any desire to work in a studio, and consecrated my soul to the Church of Plein Air. Often I had to carry gear through miles of forest and across beaches to find the perfect spot; but passion gives boundless energy.
Ironically, it was while immersed in the natural vistas of Clayoquot  that my inner landscape began to unfold. Nature was my school, where expression of my own personal unconscious in light and shadow, stillness and movement, smells and sensations and the emotional responses they trigger began to unfold, as I always dreamed they would.

- Nathalie St-Amant -