Sophie Asselin is a French Canadian self-taught artist based in Montreal. Following a background in visual arts and graphic design, she began a successful career in photography. In 2018, she started to work intensively with abstract art in order to explore a more intimate and personal visual language. At the end of 2021, the artist's career took an important turn; Sophie acquires a mastery of colors and a more assumed style. The use of oil paint plays a significant role in this breakthrough. This medium is perfectly suited to the creative spirit of the artist. Attracted by experimentation, oil offers her new avenues of exploration. =
In just a few years, her work is being noticed across North America. Her works are part of many private collections in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and also Australia. Sophie releases new series of works year-round. In June 2022 she organizes her very first solo gallery exhibition, at Atelier Galerie 2112 in Montreal. The same year, his work was selected by the team of Friend of the Artist (FOA), which allowed her a publication in volume 15; FOA is a bi-annual publication highlighting the work of talented emerging artists from all around the world. Sophie also counts among her collectors, the Colombian ambassador of Canada and several Quebec public figures.
Abstract art is quite simply the art of painting.
As an abstract artist, I aim to create light, casual and colourful artworks that trigger the viewer a visual stimulation and an ethereal feeling of joy. My art is an invitation to discover a beauty that blurs the boundaries between the real world around us and what lies deep within ourselves.
I create abstract artworks through an intuitive process, where every canvas is a new territory for me to experiment with spontaneity. What emerges through is a raw expression of myself. Being a perfectionist and organized person, abstract art is a form of escape; my rebellious little side spills out onto the canvas impulsively and under the appearance of imperfect geometric lines and shapes. I paint using various techniques and medium to reach a place within me that is control-free, without any boundaries. I thrive on this self-exploration, and the challenge of experimenting new directions and ideas really drives me. The final result is often unexpected and unplanned.
Oil painting has recently made its appearance in my studio and it is here to stay. This medium of choice revives my creativity, inspired and fascinated by its nobility, the richness of its hues and its unique texture, which I explore with a brush in an abundant material. For some of my works, I also use acrylic, watercolor, pastels and colored pencils to push my imagination even further.
Strongly inspired by the Color Field painting movement, I orchestrate the pigments to make them the main subject of my work. Often pastel and luminous, my colors are deployed on large surfaces, combining lines and imperfect geometric shapes.
I paint horizontally (the canvas is placed on the ground) because I benefit from a proximity that allows me to maintain a close relationship with the work. The orientation of the painting is determined once the work is completed. I also use various materials to deposit my colors such as raw cotton; this surface gives me a natural shade that plays an integral role in the development of some of my pieces.
When did your interest in art begin vs. when you began thinking of it as a career/life choice?
As far as I can remember, I always have been drawn to all art forms. Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I experimented with various mediums such as pen and pencil, paint, polymer clay (I had fun creating various pieces of jewelry), and even photography. At some point, I even joined the high school orchestra. I played the tuba, and I am pretty sure that I was the smallest tubist this band ever welcomed! Much later, as an adult, after a short career as a graphic designer, I started a successful photography career. My hunger to create through visual arts came back when I turned 38. I felt in love with paint as a medium – first experimenting with acrylic, then oil. Because I was already passionate about entrepreneurship, I decided to paint professionally and sell my works online, using Instagram to draw people to my shop. I started to work intensively with abstract art, which allowed me to explore an intimate and personal visual language.
What draws you to your particular subject matter?
What emerges through my abstract artworks is a raw expression of myself. Without using words, I express myself with colors, shapes and lines, digging into my imagination without any boundaries. Even though I'm a perfectionist, I create paintings with a lack of uniformity, as a form of escape. My brush strokes are non-uniform and imperfect.
What interest of yours (outside of art) ends up influencing your practice the most?
I have an interest for everything from the midcentury. Pastel colors were trendy in the 1950s – we just have to remember all those colored kitchens. Old objects from that time make me feel nostalgic and I see kind of a beauty in them.
What is one piece of advice you wish you could give your younger self?
I know it will sound corny, but I would tell myself to follow my dreams – do what you want to do, believe in yourself and everything will be possible.
What would you say is your biggest goal for this year?
Become a big abstract artist here in Quebec and be known for my abstract work. My goal is to conquer people’s heart with beautiful colors and compositions.