Interview with Beauty in the Breakdown artist Sarah Joncas
SH: Coffee or Tea?
SJ: coffee @_@
SH: background noise – music or tv show?
SJ: music, clearly!
SH: snacks – savory or sweet?
SJ: Mmm, fruit and pastry sweetness
SH: dogs or cats?
SJ: No need to fight, I love them both <3
SH: When do you get the most painting done? Morning, Noon, Night, Middle of the Night/Morning?
SJ: 10am to 6pm. I work whenever I get the chance, but because my man works during the day, it’s most convenient to paint then. I think I prefer nights though. The day is better light for sure, but the night has better mood!
SH: Have you ever accidentally drank or was about to drink the dirty ‘paint’ water?
SJ: All the time… all the time. I also end up stirring my paint brushes into my coffee rather than the dirty water. So irritating. At least this is only a problem when I work in acrylic though, never with oils.
SH: What inspired the direction of your work for the upcoming show, Beauty in the Breakdown?
SJ: I was playing with ideas surrounding environmentalism and escapism for this show. Having grown up as a kid with the solace of a forest in my backyard wherever we lived, it was a stark contrast moving to Toronto as an adult and adjusting to the new urban landscape.. These paintings feel like a partial nostalgia and need of return to nature, as well as a critique on the effects of urbanization for both the physical and psychological worlds. Stylistically the show was also about pushing my aesthetics in other realms, enjoying a graphic mix of design alongside my more traditional, oil rendered portraits. What other artists work are you ‘
SH: What other artists work are you ‘fangirling’ over right now?
SJ: A lot of contemporary artists I show with at group exhibitions actually, or at least show at the same galleries! Keita Morimoto, Kelsey Beckett, Erik Jones, Hsiao-Ron Cheng and more. Such wonderful work!
SH: What motivated you to choose the life/career of an artist?
SJ: Always knew, I loved painting and drawing as a very young kid and didn’t want to stop doing it!
SJ: What brand of paint so you use? What’s your favorite color and brush right now?
SJ: For oils, mostly winsor&newton and liquitex for acrylics. Favourite colour? I tend to mix a lot of my paint colours from a small set of primary, but I really love deep turquoise and the various analogous shades I can make from it. I like cheap synthetic brushes, haha. I love my detailing brushes though, tiny tiny. The most enjoyable work in a painting for me is done with the smallest brush! Sometimes, with all my dry brush and scumbling, I can engineer a pretty sweet nub of a brush too.
SH: How long does it take to complete a single piece? Do you work on multiple pieces at one time?
SJ: Usually 1-4 months, depending on size. And yes, it’s like a one-woman factory in my studio! 8-12 painting at any given time. I work on them in a cycle between layers of drying oil.
SH: What creative person; artist, musician, director, family member etc… has had the most influence or inspired your own artistic voice?
SJ: Man, how can I choose! There’s so many that have had so many different and meaningful influences on me. To settle for sake of the question though, maybe Radiohead is king. Since I was 15 till today, they have been a constant and feverish love. Music is most important to my painting process, I think. It sweeps me into the right mood and mindset for work when I need it.
Sarah Joncas “The Wishing Well” – Oil on Canvas 24″ x 30”
SH: What do you know now, that you wish you would have known when first embarking on your artistic career?
SJ: I was so shy and struggled so much with confidence when I started out. It’s still a battle, to be honest, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to put most of that on the back burner and to go after things with less hesitation. I don’t think these lessons are something you can just know and follow though, you need the progressive experience.
SH: If your could invite 5 people dead or alive to a dinner party, who would be on your guest list and what’s on the menu?
SJ: The decision is crippling, haha. So many possibilities! At the moment, I’m all in the mood for intense and passionate music though… So how about stewing together some awesome musicians and making some sweet, sweet tunes! Let’s throw in some Thom York, a little dash of David Gilmour, some smoky Clint Mansell, a pinch of Danny Carey and some sweet Natasha Khan! I can play the triangle or something stupid… More cowbell? Oh yeah, do they still need food? Alright, let’s make it some crazy ethnic potluck then; Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Thai, Mediterranean etc. I love all of it.
Opening Reception with artists on hand: Saturday, February 28th 6-9PM