St-Gilles studied at the college of Sainte-Foy and holds a diploma of collegial studies in presentation esthetics. He began studying painting at a very young age. He was introduced to this art by Arthur Genest, Paul Brien, Mario Mauro and Bruno Côté. This last painter introduced him to the Charlevoix region. The artist was first known for his watercolours before changing to oils, his current medium. He has done research tours in France, Italy, the Canadian North and the Magdalen Islands.
The career of this young landscape artist began on a high note. In 1979, St-Gilles, who was not yet 25 years old, held his first individual exhibition. He broke into the Montreal art world in 1981. St-Gilles has since maintained his momentum: from 1982 to the present, he has held more than 25 solo exhibitions in several major Canadian cities. This landscape painter is very popular with connoisseurs, especially for his great talent as a colourist.
St-Gilles has become one of the most influential landscape artists of his generation. Since 1999, this lover of nature in all its glory took on a daunting challenge: to criss-cross the country seeking outstanding sites and build a collection of about 120 large paintings for a permanent exhibition. To read the summary of St-Gilles' Great Canadian Adventure, please click here.
His work and his art
Looking at a St-Gilles painting, one immediately realizes that the life and craft of this painter are closely linked to a great respect for people and places. «Through the landscapes they discover in my paintings, people gain an awareness of the wealth of the places that surround us and a love that encourages them to protect those places,» the artist explains.
Space and light take centre stage in St-Gilles' work, in which the most lasting impression is one of vastness. From the distant sky to the foreground of the painting, everything comes together to create a consistent quality of composition. His paintings always feature a dominant hue, and water is present in most of his landscapes, no doubt a reflection of the first impressions experienced from the top of Cap Diamant.
Through his broad perspective, St-Gilles shares with us his emotion and admiration. He captures one happy instant, retrieves it and draws us in. What we see cannot fail to excite our imagination. Nature is more than a copse of trees, it is height and distance. The horizon shifts from land to liquid to fog to mountains, while the sky unfolds its fantasies above the river. In a word, his spaces never fail to feed our wanderlust!
At La Galerie d'art Au P'tit Bonheur