I have been drawing and painting since the age of 6, in Germany, France and Canada. I took intensive art programs in high school and was invited to participate in the General Drawing Competition in 11th grade. I enrolled in art classes at the University of Strasbourg, while studying art history and archeology. I learned a lot from the painters of the Barbizon School and the Impressionists, who used the landscapes in which I grew up, in Brie, and later, in Canada, I discovered the Group of 7 and the artists there. of First Nations.
While teaching history, geography and plastic arts, I continued my artistic explorations. I worked for 3 years on the Mistassini First Nations Reserve and helped collect traditional embroidery designs and develop new ones. I illustrated books of traditional crafts and legends and went to live in the woods to collect the stories of the Elders and publish them under the title "Tales of a Cree Hunter". When I returned to Toronto, and at the French school in Toronto, I created a nature connection program around the school ravine: I taught teachers how to teach science, languages and art in nature,.
I used to spend my weekends on a farm in Meadowvale Village, a suburb of Toronto painting nature, barns and old structures, and prepared exhibitions on heritage, paintings made in the Mistassini Preserve , and one called "Vive la France."
Since my retirement from teaching in 2020, I have focused on plein-air and studio painting, especially studying lights, rocks and skies. I continue to teach children or adults, more as a mentor and facilitator than a teacher, and I have been invited to participate in the McMichael Gallery competition in 2021 and 2022 or my painting "Home " has been shortlisted and is currently exposed. I also exhibit in various local cafes and businesses.
I am essentially an autodidact who continues to marvel in nature and to bite into small moments of happiness in order to share them.
Joz (Josette Bouchard-Muller)