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Enthusiasm makes the difference

10 October 2007 7 comments

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Bruno Cote is one of the more successful painters living in Baie-Saint-Paul--in all of Canada for that matter. The first thing you notice on entering his studio is the cleanliness and lack of clutter. Further, he has only two small windows, and on those the blinds are drawn. Bruno, 67, told me he learned the hard way that he doesn't need distractions.

Working on thin panels of Masonite or hardboard, he archives large numbers of paintings vertically in a relatively small space. Panels for field sketches have wide edges for holding at arm's length. He has a separate drying room for oils. "I found out oil is at its most dangerous when it is giving off fumes while drying, not while painting," he tells me. Two months ago he started working in acrylic, "for the first time in my life--I like it, it works fine," he says. Bruno is a big, jolly fellow who laughs a lot and speaks with a strong Quebecois accent.

The studio is on two levels, one an afterthought of the other. The lower area contains the workstation and easel. A wide table sits in front of the easel, all but preventing close work that might interfere with his exuberant, wet-in-wet style.

The table contains a two-dozen-sized muffin pan loaded with pure out-of-the-tube acrylics. Around the edge of this pan Bruno has a homemade rubber gasket on which a heavy piece of transparent plastic can be placed. A few squirts from a spritzer and "it's good for a week," he says. So you can get an idea of Bruno's work and studio, we've included photos at the top of the current clickback. See URL below.

In the middle of the easel and rising up behind it is a
brightly painted board with the cryptic letters "EMTD" at the top. It stands for "Enthusiasm Makes the Difference," the title of a book by Norman Vincent Peale that Bruno read when he was young. "It changed my life," says Bruno. EMTD is more than Bruno's motto, it's his primal force and method of living.
I ask him how he gets enthusiastic when he isn't feeling it. "It builds up," he says. "If you don't work for a while, then you need to and you do it. I come in here and go for it. I work myself up. I work very, very fast and get a lot done for every blast. If you're not enthusiastic, it's no good."

"All I need is the idea I can get in the sketch; then I can
make it bigger."



Esoterica: Like a lot of fine artists, Bruno comes from a sign-painter background. He has the worker's edge, and his mind isn't cluttered with rationalizations or pretense. A direct problem-solver, he has systematically mastered the mysteries of colour. Monochromatic and analogous schemes vie with the complementary, while bravura brushwork dictates energetic skies and noisy, active watercourses. Bruno has never taken a formal lesson, nor has he taught. "I can't teach it," he says, "because I go by instinct."

If you would like to see selected, illustrated responses to the last letter, "Conservative tendencies," a look into the creative microcosm of Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, as well as work systems in the Bruno Cote studio, please click here

(c) Copyright 2007 Robert Genn @ The Painter's Keys

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7 comments: to “ Enthusiasm makes the difference so far...

  • RennyBA 11.10.07
     

    Now I do understand your interest for art (thanks for your comments on my post about that!).

    This was a very interesting read and i do believe that enthusiasm can be build up inside of you if you listen to your inner thoughts and go with the flow. Just like blogging you know :-)

  • Fruit species 11.10.07
     

    Those dogs are cute! Sniffing around. If only humans are like that. Probably the color of money could change it :)
    Fruity

  • Kim 11.10.07
     

    hi Rennie....
    Robert Genn writes some very interesting letters....and yes this could relate to blogging as well...
    have a great day :)

    hi Fruity..
    they are so cute ...you obviously clicked on the pictures to see their noses moving....
    very true.....I thought the dogs looked very enthusiastic and suited the title of the post.. :)

  • BoydGreeneArt 11.10.07
     

    Awesome post. Very interesting and inspiring.

    Norman Vincent Peale is a great read for anyone wanting to do something special with their lives.

  • Kim 11.10.07
     

    you are so right Boyd.....
    I just wish I had more time to revisit those great books every now and then :)

  • Deborah 12.10.07
     

    'Enthusiasm makes the difference' ... an excellent message to drive home, and words to live by.

    Love the dogs, they're adorable!

    Mark one on the wall for you Kim for finding an artist from my own neck of the woods that I wasn't aware of :-)

  • Kim 12.10.07
     

    actually the writer is Robert Genn and he kindly allowed me to post this article on my blog.....
    when I was posting this I thought about whether you.... Deborah....(I have got your name right...yes?...:P :D)...may have heard of Bruno Cote....very inspirational artist..... :)

About The Author
Kim Barker is a Visual Artist (Diploma in Art and Graduate Diploma in Education). She is also a fully trained Reading Recovery Teacher. She has taught RAD (Royal Academy of Dancing) and Cecchetti Ballet Syllabii. Kim also manages the Top Artist' Directory and PoeARTica as well as her blog laketrees She lives with her family on the Eastern Central Coast of Australia. Follow Kim at laketrees on Twitter for updates and news