Stimulation for the subject matter in this 'Peace Roots' exhibition originated from my love of plant life, and quickly evolved into a general appreciation of the Peace River Region. Due to my love of nature I undertook several expeditions to capture my interpretation of the Peace, camera in tow. If I happened to come across an interesting plant specimen, atmospheric lighting situation or intriguing composition I would take a photo. I use these references to draw from while recalling the emotion, sounds, scents and feel of each place in time to incorporate into my art. My medium of choice was ink on watercolour paper. I use very small brushes and my technique applies more of a drawing approach than painting. I carefully build up layers of colour until I have a humble satisfaction with the outcome. I spent anywhere from 20-120 hours creating each of the individual pieces in my studio.
Creating these ink drawings was a personal challenge for myself and I am happy with the growth I achieved. In this collection of work are my first landscape pieces and plant studies. I was encouraged to go outside my comfort zone and find artistic interest in a subject I took for granted. Because of this exhibition I am extremely interested in continuing a pursuit of depicting the natural environment. Focusing on the Peace River Region was very important to me as this is where I lived the majority of my life. In the midst of getting ready for this show I ended up moving away but it still feels like I am there because I spend so much time on each image and the memory of it engulfs me. Nothing will take you as far away as art.
Justine Bouchard on opening night of the 'Peace Roots' exhibition standing by the original piece 'Poplar Opinion'