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by Wilfrid Barbier
Since my early childhood, I have always dreamed of becoming an artist-painter. From my first years of school, I often happened to draw while being well concentrated in my own bubble, while diverting my attention from the lessons until an unexpected slap with a ruler on my hand brought me back to reality. Unfortunately my father, not only he did not encourage me, but discouraged me by constantly telling me that I was wasting my time, ''Certainly not by doodling, that you are going to make a living. All artists died poor.'' Added to our overwhelming poverty, his words only reinforced my lack of self-confidence.
Vietnamese With Red Hat
I remember that one day I took part in a drawing competition on Radio-Canada television. The prize was a drawing set. It was the show, Jon Gnagy's Learn to Draw, a renowned American artist. What a surprise to hear my name on the winners list on television and what a joy it was to receive this package in the mail afterwards.
In adulthood, I made a little oil and pastel and saw myself as an impostor and not as an artist. I decided to give up. However, I had to use these mediums when I followed graphic design training at College Ahuntsic in Montreal. This training allowed me to experiment with certain techniques, such as coloured pencils, air brush, scratch cards with India ink and gouache. In addition to doing live models with different mediums, we practiced among other things blind drawing. After graduation in 1983,I didn't draw again, until 2001.
“Unfortunately my father, not only he did not encourage me, but discouraged me by constantly telling me that I was wasting my time. 'Certainly not by doodling, that you are going to make a living. All artists died poor.'”
Even if I had used these mediums in college, it wasn't until 2001 that I really discovered the extraordinary potential of coloured pencils. It all started when my youngest son asked me for help to draw a birthday card for his godfather. He drew with me for an hour, and I continued for five hours. I was therefore completely seduced by this little-known medium, which most people associate with children or beginners.
Little Vietnamese Girl
Since then, I have adopted this medium and I have given myself the mission of making it known by doing my part to give it its rightful place in the art market. Now retired, I devote as much time as possible to my art. I participated in several exhibits, local and international exhibitions, including three very important ones for me. One in the Parliament of Quebec in 2020 where we were welcomed by the President of the National Assembly, Mr. François Paradis. One in Toronto by the Society of Canadian Artists in 2019 and one in Brea, California by the Coloured Pencils Society of America in 2019. All these recognitions have been awarded to me in the last decade, including a bronze medal in 2020 for my drawingfor my drawing, THE RUSTY RING; an International Prize for Professional Artist in the figurative section. A prize awarded by Mondial Art Academia. This experience was for me a very motivating source of encouragement.
“It all started when my youngest son asked me for help to draw a birthday card for his godfather. He drew with me for an hour, and I continued for five hours. I was therefore completely seduced by this little-known medium, which most people associate with children or beginners.”
Little Vietnamese Boy Holding A Snake
My inspiration comes from my travels, both in Canada and abroad. I try to share to the best of my abilities the beauty I perceive in our world. A world that is too often described as ordinary and lack of attention that scenery offers us. I sometimes visualize the photo several times before drawing it on paper. This way my art is more from within. This process can take me a week or more.
For a long time I doubted my talent and refrained myself from drawing. Thanks to coloured pencils that helped me believe in myself and allowed me to realize my childhood dream to be an accomplished artist.
ABOUT WILFRID BARBIER:
A native of Cadillac in Abitibi in northern Quebec, Wilfrid Barbier always dreamed of being a painter but poverty and lack of encouragement led him elsewhere. In 1983, he still completed training in graphic design but doubting his talent he gave up drawing until 2001 when he discovered coloured pencils. Since then, he devotes his time to his art and participates in numerous exhibitions and symposiums. He received several recognitions which motivated him to continue.
See more at: https://www.wilfridbarbier.com/