Artist of the Month: Paul Brandejs

 

Paul Brandejs is an abstract artist who works with acrylic and photography on sculpted canvas. He has studied at the Banff School of fine Arts and has a four year diploma in Fine Arts from Ontario College of Art (now OCAD U) spending his last year of study in Florence, Italy, studying under Canadian Figurative Artist Tom La Pierre.

1.      In your LaVaLab profile, you say that you are fascinated and intrigued by how far you can push canvas from a traditional square or rectangle to a new art form. Can you tell us more about your interest in pushing materials beyond their intended boundaries?

Almost from the start, when I started painting at the age 15, I built my own stretchers and stretched my own canvas. This allowed me to break out of the restriction of painting on a square or a rectangle. One of my first three-dimensional paintings was done in my second year in Banff. It is a 6 x 6 foot painting with a 4 foot centre protruding 2 feet out of the center. When I was working on that all the other students were laughing at my “chicken coop.” Well, that “chicken coop” earned me a scholarship. Since then I never believed that you have to paint on a square or a rectangle and that it has to be a flat surface. I have developed a style where I work with modular irregular pieces that combine into one piece of art. In recent years, I started working with photography as a media to challenge the viewer to separate the photography from the painting.

 

Space Odyssey, Acrylic on Sculpted Canvas, 72 x 72 x 14 inches

 

2.      What types of media do you use for your work and why do you choose to use them?

I have primarily worked on canvas using a variety of acrylic techniques. I use a lot of washes, drips, and solid paint with sharply defined edges or airbrush. In the last few years I worked with photography, which I print on canvas and stretch on my custom stretchers. Now I’m combining my photography with painting by combining realism of the photography with abstraction of the paint.

Forgotten Window, Acrylic on Sculpted Canvas, 48 x 72 x 12 inches

 

Lady in Red, Acrylic, Photography and found material on Shaped Canvas, 42 x 30 x 5 inches

 

3.      You also mentioned that you spent a year studying in Florence, Italy. How has this experience impacted your art practice?

I spent my last year of study in Florence in an OCA off-campus study program. The experience was amazing, not only because of the amazing art but also amazing architecture and landscapes surrounded me. It helped me to grow as an artist.

 

4.      Who are your mentors? Has anyone in particular guided you through your process and professional art practice as a whole?

I guess my main mentor was Ilda Lubane, my first painting teacher. Not only was she a fabulous artist but one in a million teacher who dedicated herself to her students and drew the best out of everyone. I don’t think without her initial guidance and mental support I would be painting.

 

5.      What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

My advice is to persevere. Keep working and producing. Next get out there and be seen. Network.

 

6.      How can we learn more and keep up with your latest work?

Go to my website at www.paul.brandejs.name to check out my new exhibitions and look for new works.

 

See Paul’s LaVaLab profile at http://www.lavalab.ca/artist/73.   


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