For this month, WRAC features visual artist Marcel Fortin. Born in North Bay, Ontario, he lived for several years in British Columbia. While living in BC, he met his wife, who is from this area. About fifteen years ago, they moved back to the town of Lac du Bonnet.
Fortin identifies as a self-taught artist and uses oil paints to create his life-like paintings. He took the usual art classes in school and says he was interested in art “off-and-on,” since he was sixteen. But, in 2008, he decided to pursue his artistic talents more seriously.
This happened after he painted his first big project, a hockey mural on his son’s wall. People who saw it said he really should do more art. Inspired by their encouragement, he used the books and videos of famous art teacher Bob Ross to refine his techniques. Ever since then, he has worked hard at developing his distinct style. Fortin says, “I use art as a form of meditation and a way to relax. I get completely absorbed in it.”
This dedication appears to have worked. He sells paintings to interested patrons and gets commissions for specific subjects. Although he doesn’t have a website, he has created a Facebook page for his art and posts samples of paintings on the “Living in Lac du Bonnet and loving it” Facebook page.
In 2013, he submitted his work to Eastman Juried Art Exhibition in Pinawa. In 2014, he won People’s Choice Award at the art show held in conjunction with Fire & Water Festival. In 2015, he won another People’s Choice Award at the Eastman Juried Art Exhibition in Lac du Bonnet.
Fortin’s art attracts plenty of positive attention. He says, “I get lots of good comments. And the biggest fan of all is my mother!”