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The abstract dimension in my creations has the effect of highlighting and supporting without distracting too much from the more realistic look of the animal which is the emotional focal point of my creations. The abstract portion allows me to suggest a futile movement of hair or feather without imposed direction, which leaves everyone room for interpretation.



Artistic approach

Josée Forest was born an artist. While she did not know this at the time, she discovered this truth later in life. A self-taught painter, her unusual journey has led her to practise the fine arts through the exploration of different techniques and disciplines. She began with oil paint, but finally adopted acrylic painting because of its convenience and range of colours and mediums.

                               I don’t explain my art. I paint…

These were the words of world-renowned painter Joanne Corneau, alias Corno (1952-2016). Forest resonates with these words. For her, creation belongs to the realm of the unexplained. The only things that count are her intuition and what she feels while painting; all the rest is mere technique.

Gifted with remarkable spatial intelligence, Forest sees her finished painting on canvas before she has even made the first brushstroke. She is a great admirer of the animal kingdom, which takes centre stage in her artwork. The artist's strength lies in her ability to create an animal face without using traditional shapes. She prefers to paint on large-format linen or cotton canvases, and her nonchalant gestures draw us into a world of freedom, full of ardour and sensuality. Passionate about bright colours and textures, she blends bold, unexpected and surprising hues.

Forest’s close-up compositions instinctively combine colourful strokes to create a unique animal portrait. She begins each painting with the eyes and nose, which serve as a guide throughout her creative process. Having mastered realist art techniques early on, she draws her viewers into a whirlwind of figurative and abstract shapes. She seduces them by projecting a contemporary pop art style with touches of realism. The structure of Forest's paintings is the result of her intuition to defy transparency, master depth and enrich hues. Under these conditions, imperfection becomes harmonious in the eyes of her audience, thereby creating a connection with the animal’s distinct emotional signature. 

By painting only animal portraits, the artist seeks to enhance the feelings evoked in their eyes—purity, dignity, tenacity, combativeness, fragility and resilience—a portrait of animals faced with the adversity of the natural elements.

Aware of current events, Forest strives to offer peaceful refuge through her paintings to individuals who welcome her work into their homes. She hopes to create joy, tranquillity and the impression that only animals have the power to make humans more human...

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