Inspiration & Tastemakers
Artist Q&A: Madeleine Gross
MADELEINE'S PAINTED MEMORIES
Acrylic paint on giclee prints
What is your day-to-day like?
I like to schedule painting days throughout the week and others for shipping, framing, scanning, photographing, invoicing, organizing. Everyday is very different but I try to paint at least twice a week.
I start my day by walking my Golden doodle Bayla, usually walking to get a coffee and then I start emailing or driving around dropping off prints, picking up new prints.. Etc. or I spend the day painting. Those are the best days.
How did you get started making art?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. My late Mother would turn our kitchen into an art gallery, covering the walls with all my drawings, showcasing it for our friends and family. My mom is a big inspiration for me, she gave me the confidence to pursue art. I studied photography at the Ontario College of art and Design in Toronto.
Where do you live?
I currently live in Toronto, I’m looking to move somewhere warmer soon! Very excited for the change. It’s also a place I often photograph.
I actually like to dance or stretch before I start painting, clears my head before I get into it.
I take photos, print them out, and treat them like a canvas, I like to create a new narrative with the added paint. Merge reality and fantasy.
What tools do you use?
My medium is acrylic paint on giclee prints. I change up my tools and process constantly. I feel like moving away from how I would approach photos at first, big strokes of paint with palette knives. And now my work has progressed to cover majorities or even entireties of the images in paint.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration from so many outlets. Nature and light. Memory and fantasy. The female form and the way the body moves. Recently I've been playing a lot with scenes in my life that I constantly think about, daydreaming about places that have made me happy. Before covid and when I traveled more I would find most of my inspiration from new places and a change of scenery but now I’m finding inspiration in the everyday, whether it’s mundane or not. I’ve been spending a lot of my time in nature and I‘ll be inspired by the smallest things—the way a tree is, or a movement in the water.
Most rewarding — or surprising! — part of the job?
When I get photos from collectors with my art in their home. It’s the best feeling and I am so grateful.
Most memorable thing someone has said to you about your art?
There’s been a lot. But most recently someone said that they thought that one of my paintings of two people kissing against the water looked like they were drowning. I love hearing how different people see my work and their perspective. It’s so fascinating how everyone sees something different.
Do you have a signature color or palette?
I tend to use a lot of blues and then warmer tones. I match a lot of the colors to the scenes in the photos which usually have a beautiful sky in them. I like to pull out the pigments from the images by adding a layer of paint, sometimes I’ll match it or use an opposing color palette, it’s all about the feel of the image and how I can make my viewer feel like they're in that setting.
Tell us about your work on ArtStar.
My work on ArtStar is a series from my travels: Miami, Bahamas, Positano, LA. Some of my favorite pieces from over the years, one being Swim, I really inspired by David Hockney and his color palette for that one. Another favorite is Amalfi Movement, I feel as though the paint really blends nicely with the setting. It was also a beautiful moment from the view at Le Sirenuse in Positano.
What do you hope to accomplish with your art?
To show a more abstract view of the world. I hope people will be reminded of good memories after seeing my work, and maybe be put in a better mood,
I want the viewer to have a personal experience. It’s the idea of emulating an immersive reality for the viewer and inducing the sensation of actually being there just by looking. I believe the added paint makes the images more relatable, nostalgia or daydreams of being in a similar setting.
I’m trying to create images that are more intimate and inviting. Even though it is through my lens and perspective, with the added abstraction I find it makes it less of my personal experience and more relatable.
I like to blur the line between abstract and reality. Question what’s real vs emotions and feelings. Is reality what we see or how we feel/ what we imagine?