Edith Lebeau, Eclectix Interview 45

Edith Lebeau profile Eclectix Interview


Edith Lebeau is a fabulous Canadian artist we have long admired here at Eclectix – some of you may remember her dynamic Red Queen (below), from the Fierce Fashion exhibit card.
  Her radiant portrait based works are sometimes sassy, sometimes serious personas of our modern day. Mostly female subjects, they may be growing horns, sucking on lollipops, sporting a Victorian hairdo or standing serene, spotted with droplet adornments. Her women are authentic, not manufactured cosmetic concoctions – they have freckles, crinkles, weight and smirks – they live real lives. Full of joy and fantasy, anger or angst, her subjects reflect a love of quirky life and all things human. 
Edith Lebeau art
My favorite art memory from my childhood is …
Drawing with my father. We use to sit together at the kitchen table and draw or paint. I remember doing that with him quite often. I would draw girls with vibrant colors. Ballerinas, Jessica Rabbit, Cindy Lauper…
My interest in art started …
It started at a very young age, both my parent are artists but it was not their main occupation. My dad was a plane engine welder and my mom had a part-time day job. My dad had lots of different tools and mediums that I could try – watercolor, gouache, acrylics, oil and dry pastels, felt pens. My favorite medium changed with time – but I remember using up lots of felt pens.
Edith Lebeau art
I am often inspired and motivated by …
Fashion, movies, music videos, nature and motivated by new projects and upcoming exhibitions.
For instance, your last big wow! inspiration, came from?
I guess the last thing that I found inspiring was the newest music video of David Bowie directed by Floria Sigismondi starring Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. Not a huge fan of the song in particular but the aesthetic of the video was inspiring. ( I like all Floria’s videos by the way. )
Edith Lebeau art
 If I could spend the day with any artist (dead or alive) it would be … 
Maybe I would choose a movie director, like Alfred Hitchcock or Wes Anderson, and spend the day observing their creative process and follow them around while they were filming one of their movies. (Preferably “The Birds” and “The Royal Tenenbaums“)
Edith Lebeau art
The tip or art technique (a specific tidbit of craft, advice or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is ….
The key with acrylics is layers.
If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …

Ok, I know it’s not original and that a lot of people like or really hate this piece – but I would go with Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth, because I like that piece.


Edith Lebeau, Eclectix Interview

My current favorite piece of my own art is … 
It changes a lot. Sometimes I like a piece and then hate it, but right now I like my “The Animal In Me” piece (above), that was done for a Prisma collective group show. I can’t say why exactly I like it, but I’m just happy with the end result. The skin tones and facial expression came out just the way I wanted them to.
I noticed a few artists have painted portraits of you, how and why did this begin?
I used to always take pictures of my friends for paintings but I needed new models, new faces. So I started to asking on Facebook – friends, artists, designer, and others that inspired me – if they were willing to send me pictures of themself (if they lived far away) so I could paint them. I don’t think that there are that many portraits of me. I think the first one was the one Buddy Nestor did of me for his woman artists series. My friend illustrator Paule T.B. also did a couple of portraits of me, Sarah Joncas and I both painted each other, and Michael Shapcott did a portrait of me for his “Drawing a day” project. ( Sarah Jonca’s portrait of Edith, below)
Edith Lebeau by Sarah Joncas - Eclectix Interview
    My ultimate project or fantasy is …
I would love to do a series of large paintings, it’s been a while since I painted on big canvas. I just don’t have the opportunity anymore and don’t have enough space in my studio. It’s not a big fantasy, but it’s the first thing that came to mind.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve just finished my piece (below) for a show called “Zombie” curated by Travis Louie at Last Rites Gallery that opened on May 25th in NYC. I’m super honored to be in this show, the line up is crazy!
Edith Lebeau - zombie

The last song I choose to listen to was …

Guyamas Sonora by Beirut
The last book I couldn’t put down was …
I don’t read a lot, I have a concentration problem. The book next to my bed is The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. When I’m having trouble sleeping,  I read it again and again.
white stripes


One of my favorite words is …

I don’t have a particular favorite word but one that I really like to say, I like how it sounds. It’s the same in English and in French but it sounds sillier in French: “fruit”. You would have to hear me say it …
One of my favorite smells is …
I don’t have much of a sense of smell – it’s there but very sensitive. If there is a skunk in the area, I’ll smell it – but way after everyone else does.
My favorite smell would be the smell in the air right before a storm – during springtime or summer. I go outside every time to smell and feel that weather.


Edith Lebeau - Eclectix Interview
    I can’t live without …
Love, art and music.
It’s not hip, but I really love ….
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show. It ended a while ago but I own all the DVDs and watch it every year.
Edith Lebeau, Eclectix Interview
My favorite motto (or quote) is …
“Better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.” 
- André Gide, Autumn Leaves
It helps me to work on myself and motivate me to stop trying to please everybody else.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?

I do not travel that much, but my favorite city so far would be San Francisco. Berlin was great too and so is Montreal. But the US west coast along Highway 1, would be my favorite place in the world right now. It’s just such a beautiful city. The colors of the houses and the architecture in general is amazing + you have a pier + the beach + the summer nights are not too hot. Every neighborhood has something great, I just think it’s an inspiring city.


Edith Lebeau,art

    If you had to name a hero or heroine, an iconic person in your lifetime…
who would that be and why? 

I guess I would have to go with Tori Amos. Her aesthetic and the universe that she created around her music and music videos influenced me a lot when I studied painting. It’s kind of the same universe as the “Christina’s World” painting from Wyeth and that’s probably why I like the painting so much.

Edith Lebeau - Eclectix Interview

    Can you share why you like painting portrait based works so much?
Do you work from models, photos or both?
I don’t know why exactly, I just like to paint different tones of skin. How the light hits the skin is just something beautiful, soft and … pure I guess?  It’s great to create a character even if it’s always based on someone that already exist and that I personally know. I like to give the model a new life, a new character, a new story. I always work with photos. I start by taking pictures of the model than make a selection and choose one which the expression fits with where I want to go. I paint too slowly to use a model, I might try again one day though.
Edith Lebeau art
      LINK: To Edith’s Website
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