Jean-François Mincet with one of his many paintbrushes.

Painter tells stories of human emotion one brush at a time

Sooke artist Jean-Francois Mincet is one of the few whose works will be displayed at the Sooke Fine Arts Show in July.

As June slowly draws the curtain, July is around the corner with one of the largest art events in the region – that’s right, the Sooke Fine Arts Show is back.

This year, the Sooke Mirror will feature a local artist of a different style every week leading up to the show, showcasing the Sooke region’s rich – and wonderful – collection of talented creators.

The Sooke Fine Arts Show (July 22 to August 1) is a regional exhibition of fine art presenting 375 works by artists from Sooke, Vancouver Island and the surrounding coastal Islands.

As in recent years, the SEAPARC Leisure Complex hockey arena is converted into a 17,000 square foot art gallery, attracting thousands of visitors through its 11-day run.

This week we kick off with Jean-Francois Mincet, a local French artist whose lifelong passion is to tell the stories of people and the world through expressive (and intimately vivid) paintings and sketches, whether they are oil, watercolor or crayon-based.

“I can’t live without painting, it’s my calling,” Mincet said in his Sooke home, of which virtually every wall is covered in paintings he’s done over the years, top and bottom. “It’s not for money, but for pleasure.”

Born and raised in Paris, France, Mincet showed a strong affinity towards art by drawing and painting of his surroundings and those in them at just six years old.

It wasn’t until he was 10 when he met renown French author Maurice Genevoix, that Mincet’s unique ability to visualize and paint what he saw was recognized. Mincet admired Genevoix for telling real-life stories in immense detail, a trait that would later be seen in many of his later works.

Regardless of whether it’s written, painted, or sketched, Mincet said it’s all about visualizing and making sense of the emotion that comes from within.

“Art must be moving and genuine, it cannot be fabricated.”

In his 20s, Mincet worked for a small Parisian publication creating watercolor artwork for “miniatures”, a type of medieval-era French literature, including illustrations for Le Petit Prince.

Like the olden days, each book was individually produced by hand, art drawn to the tiniest detail.

“It was fantastic to work on something that is considered a long-lost artform,” Mincet said, adding that he would first read the text, then imagine it “with heart.”

Even in their day, they were not for the proletariat, as these one-off books were commissioned by kings and queens with an often specific purpose, usually telling a love story, or depicting a battle.

But Mincet’s paintings often tell stories that go beyond the canvas, depicting people in an spiritual, meditative state, such as his collection of works based on his numerous trips to India.

Despite some of his works having a religious look, Mincet said his works have no religious undertone, but more of a “beyond the infinite” kind of feel.

“They are simply spiritual … it’s a representation of humanity’s endless search for the divine,” he said, noting that his style is mostly interpretive realism, rather than abstract surrealism.

“There has to be emotion and a real important meaning in what you are painting,” Mincet said.

Classical music helps him visualize what he’s painting and what the subject matter really is, though what’s happening in the real world today – both good and bad – is more than enough inspiration.

“Inspiration cannot be taught, it has to come from within,” he said, adding that all an artist really needs to constantly work at is technique and a keen observation.

Mincet’s featured piece at this year’s Sooke Fine Arts Show remains to be a surprise, though he has revealed (massive) piece is “vivid and realistic representation of nature.”

His work was featured in art galleries throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.

For more information on the upcoming go to sookefinearts.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Canada ranks among countries most impacted by severe weather

Canada has climbed from the 42nd spot to ninth on the Climate Risk Index

Mainly cloudy, chance of showers ahead for Thursday

Plus a look ahead at the weekend’s forecast

PHOTOS: West Shore students rally for 10,000 Tonight food drive

Students, community members gather, sort food donations

Last full moon of the decade peaks at 12:12 on 12/12

December full moon also referred to as the cold moon

Brotherston sentenced to three years in prison for Sooke home invasion

Home invasion took place on Feb. 9 and left one man with face and head injuries

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

One man dead after car crash in Nanaimo

One person died, another was injured in the accident which happened Wednesday on Nanaimo Lakes Road

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

B.C. conservation officers put down fawn blinded by pellet gun on Vancouver Island

Young deer found near construction site in Hammond Bay area in Nanaimo, B.C.

Laid-off forest workers converge on B.C. legislature

Loggers call for action on strike, provincial stumpage

B.C. guide fined $2K in first conviction under new federal whale protection laws

Scott Babcock found guilty of approaching a North Pacific humpback whale at less than 100 metres

Feds urge Air Canada to fix booking problems as travel season approaches

The airline introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago

Most Read