Featured Artist Louise Laplante

Artist Louise Laplante creates strong imagery with chalk silhouette on vintage paper collage. To see more of her work, visit her website.

 

Chalk on collaged book pages of a hat, boots and pointing hands by Louise Laplante

“Boy to Man—The Young Speaker” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book Pages, 32” x 32”

 

I have always been fascinated by the fragments of the past to be found on old paper and how these sheets record our ancestors’ attempts to leave a mark on their world. We think we’ve abandoned many of the ideas on these pages but they, the old letters, formal documents and even music sheets, remind us of how often we repeat our ancestor’s efforts with often only a slight change in method.

 

cWhale Chalk on collaged book pages by Louise Laplante

“Sea Scape” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book Pages, 40” x 30”

 

I collaged these old pieces of ephemera to create the background for my drawings. I can use pages from one book, a group of related correspondence, or a jumble of different, unrelated pieces of paper. Their words are often the source for the images I lay on top.

 

Chalk drawings of fedoras on collage music sheets by Louise Laplante

“Man Music” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Music Pages, 28” x 40”

 

The images I use can be animals – creatures who dance through life with a grace that humans try so hard to do with practice. They can be figures “assembled” from hands, feet, or hats and the outlines of clothing. Each motif refers in its own way to the collaged pages.

 

Chalk drawing of a woman and black birds on collaged book pages by Louise Laplante

“Vitruvian Woman” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book Pages, 36” x 48”

 

I leave it to the viewer to see the text as simply a patterned background or read the individual pages to understand how I have related the motifs I have chosen for the specific work to its text. This relationship can be ironic, humorous, sad or thoughtful.

 

Chalk on collaged book pages of a round cage with black birds in and around it by Louise Laplante

“La Cage d’un fou” Chalk on Collaged Vintage Book Pages, 35” x 37”

 

I rub the chalk heavily into the sheet to get a deep, rich tone and use the curved lines bursting from each image to signify movement making the motifs as active as the collaged sheets underneath them.

 

Chalk Drawing of a large bird tending its egg on collaged book pages by Louise Laplante

“Oh Canada!” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book Pages, 30” x 33”

 

Equally central are the formal aspects of the image. Balance and pattern are important elements in each work.

 

Chalk drawings of flying birds on collage book pages by Louise Laplante

“Causes of the Earth’s Annual Motion” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book Pages, 22” x 56”

 

I celebrate the beauty in the old, yellowed and foxed paper, in its stains and scribbles, along with the birds, animals, hats or other elements on the paper and seek to arrange them on the sheet to emphasize this beauty.

 

Chalk drawing of high heel shoes on collaged sheet music by Louise Laplante

“Shall We Dance?” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Music Pages, 33” x 26”

 

Some works use several sheets of collaged paper butted together to create a larger surface on which to draw.

 

Chalk drawing of hats on collaged book pages by Louise Laplante

“Geography of the World as We Know It—Raining Hats” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book Pages, 40” x 39”

 

These multi-sheet drawings are reflective of the pieced-together nature of our memories of the past, of the way we combine disparate memories or forget parts of our pasts.

 

Chalk drawing of a large red crow on collaged book end papers by Louise Laplante

“The Big Red Bird” Chalk on Vintage Collaged Book End Papers, 37” x 25”

 

Although my drawings spring from my interpretation of the text on the pages I have collaged together, the viewer is always free to determine his or her own relationship between the two.

 

Artist Louise Laplante invites you to view her work at Carrie Haddad Gallery.

 

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