• Stephanie O’Hanley

Local artist’s dreams come true with Arabella Magazine feature


Local artist Gail Descoeurs in her art studio at her home in Rigaud, where she paints and teaches art classes. Descoeurs said she's "grateful" and "thrilled" to have her life story and art featured in the 'Artist to Collect' section of Arabella Magazine's current issue.

Rigaud artist Gail Descoeurs said she’s thrilled to be the subject of a 16-page ‘Artist to Collect’ feature in Arabella Magazine’s 2015 Winter issue, currently available on newsstands and online. Her copies of the issue arrived just before Christmas.

“As soon as I opened up the box and received them I was in tears,” Descoeurs said. “It was such a beautiful Christmas gift.”

The quarterly magazine focuses on Canadian art, architecture and design, all passions of Arabella’s Editor-in-Chief, Debra Usher.

Descoeurs, who paints and teaches art classes out of her home studio, said she first came to know Usher a couple of years ago when Descoeurs entered a landscape contest at Arabella. “I got to talking with (Usher) and I got into the semi-finals.”

After that, they kept in touch by phone and email, Descoeurs said. “She was very helpful, she said she’d like to feature me in the magazine. I thought ‘wow.’ ”

While Descoeurs’ paintings showcase natural scenery, she said half of her paintings come from her head. “I use different pieces, photographs I’ve taken,” Descoeurs said. “I’m inspired by the beauty all around. It could be something really simple, a simple tree that people will drive by every day and won’t notice (and it) will catch my eye and I will find something beautiful to create with that tree.”

The headline for Lorie Lee Steiner’s feature in Arabella about Descoeurs’ art reads “Bordering on the Mystical.” Alongside photos of several of Descoeurs’ oil paintings, you learn about her art and love of nature but also her life story as an artist.

“It’s a prestigious magazine and it goes right across Canada, it goes across the States, parts of Europe too online,” said Descoeurs. “It’s exposure, it’s wonderful exposure. The galleries tend to look at the artists that are mentioned as ‘Artist to Collect’ so it definitely helps.”

Reaction has been positive, Descoeurs said. “I’ve had a couple of emails from Ottawa, people that saw it, a lot of my friends and family and just people that are really happy for me.” She said people who saw the article have told her they’re interested in taking her workshop. As well, the three galleries selling her art, in Whistler, Toronto and Charlevoix, are on side, Descoeurs said.

“I’ve been painting for so many years, since I was 17,” she said. “It’s a nice life but it’s not an easy life. These little things, big things for me, they really help.... Sometimes when you’re hitting these waves and you think, ‘Am I doing the right thing or not?’ And then you get recognition like this and you know, ‘Okay, yes.’ ”

For more information about Gail Descoeurs’ art or her art classes for individuals and groups, visit www.gaildescoeurs.com or phone (514) 835-1510.

To see the Arabella article, visit http://arabelladesign.com/