As a youngster in Windsor Ontario, Rosemary Breault-Landry had tasted the infinite possibilities of art in two and three dimensions through colour, form, gesture and tactile expression in many media – paint, clay, canvas and paper. Along with art, her love of cottage life and the shore of Lake Huron remains part of her psyche.
Her art interests were sidelined when she began nursing training at the Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor. At the time she took up her vocation as a registered nurse, she met her future husband Ken at the University of Windsor. After completing their degress, the newly wed couple moved to Quebec City where he could further his studies at Université Laval , and RBL joined the nursing staff of Jeffrey Hale Hospital. Their first born arrived three years later. Life was busy for her – working full time and eventually raising two children.
Once the kids were in grade school, the routine had been established and Rosemary was able to take art classes at local art centres.
Her sculpture instructor Yvonne Dorion was from Montreal’s UQUAM. Dorion opened RBL’s eyes to this new experience and encouraged her to get serious about art and enroll in a professional art school. She began with a 3-week summer courses at OCADU in Toronto to fulfill her desire for figurative art. She loved her experience there – the teachers, students and inspiration that was ever present. At age 35, after taking several part-time credits, Breault-Landry wanted to continue her studies in earnest. A family discussion ensued with her husband and two kids, who encouraged her. ‘’ Go for it Mum!’’ She realized that art expression was where she felt most at home and graduated with honours in 1992.
In 1996, she retired from nursing and followed her art muse. She began by teaching figurative drawing, sculpture and mould making at the Maison des métiers d’arts in downtown Quebec. With her knowledge of clay sculpture, she was asked to demonstrate and comment on Rodin’s clay modelling techniques during the 1998 Rodin Exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Quebec City.
After moving to the national capital region in the Outaouais in 2007, she has continued teaching at the Ottawa School of Art in Orleans and connecting with fellow sculptors. She has set up a studio for making her sculpture, moulds and developing patinas to finish her bronze and hydrocal pieces. Multi-tasker, she also took on the presidency of the National Capital Network of Sculptors between 2009 and 2011. She continues to participate in many sculpture exhibitions and galleries since 2000.
In her art experience she observed the work of sculptors from Michelangelo and Rodin to Giacometti and Henry Moore who have interpreted their visions of the essence of human body and spirit. Realism continues to challenge post-modernist artists. Drawing and sculpting fellow humans allows her to explore the complexity of sculpture – the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual planes, and of course the effects of gravity. Each gesture and movement in her sculpture attempts to communicate our common humanity to the observer. She is a spontaneous teacher telling her students that ‘‘Drawing from live models is the key to comprehending form and movement as well as anatomy and expression.’’ RBL believes that success in this domain will reflect immediately in sculpture.
RBL’s bronze sculptures are made using complex technical procedures. They include ̈making rubber molds, plaster ‘mother-molds’ over the clay, and layered Aquaresin processes. Her favourite time in the process is the start of a piece, especially with a live model, when she considers the most appropriate pose for the feeling she wants to convey. Then when adding clay to the piece, observing the interesting movement of lines she considers to be great fun. She also enjoys applying the patina at the end. Remember that she started out as a painter, and loves colour. RBL says that the passion for it keeps her young at heart, and her enthusiasm is testimony to that!
She has sculpted many public and private commissioned works which demonstrate her talents, some of which you can see on the Sculpture Ottawa Facebook pages.
You can feast on her many works by visiting her Facebook page and also her newest works at the Sculpture Expo, Pop Up Show this weekend at Lansdowne Park right next door to Goodlife Fitness. Sculpture Expo is open Thursday, October 7th to Sunday, October 10th from 10am to 6pm.