This month we were pleased to feature a familiar face to the ICC family. Maria Isabel Fleury (she/her) was one of the first artists that we had the pleasure of working with, back when ICC was only known as the Emerging Artist Exhibition.
Growing up in Venezuela, Fleury was drawn to the arts without any formal fine arts training. As she got older, Fleury became interested in law and she pursued a career as lawyer and legal translator. At this time in her life, she wasn’t able to continue her vocation to the arts. It wasn’t until she moved to Oakville seven years ago that the Canadian landscape reignited the artist within her.
Living so close to Bronte Creek Provincial Park, Fleury found herself on her bicycle more often than not, cycling through forest trails and paths. Her family has also traveled throughout Canada, allowing Fleury to be continuously inspired for her artwork. It’s the power of nature’s evolution through season’s that has encaptivated Fleury. During her travels, Fleury also came across Maya Eventov’s work and felt an immediate connection.
Traces of Eventov’s birch trees can be found in Fleury’s work, specifically with the vibrant colours and use of impasto. What differs is how Fleury has expanded on the birch tree theme. Not only does she provide a fresh approach to the scene of the trees themselves, she incorporates gels, mixed mediums, maple leaves, pencil shavings, and even sand collected from Cancun. She creates intense textures and radiant colours that paint Canada in a lasting way. Her work leaves a strong impression of the natural beauty found in our home and now on our screens.
𝘈𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘮, 2020
30” x 48”
This painting was inspired by a photo Fleury took on her hike in Bronte Creek Provincial Park as she felt an essence of motivation from Lewis Carol when he said:
“𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘬𝘪𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘴𝘰 𝘨𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘭𝘺? 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘶𝘱 𝘴𝘯𝘶𝘨, 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘵; 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘴 ‘𝘨𝘰 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱, 𝘥𝘢𝘳𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴, 𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯.”
For Fleury, it’s a reminder that every storm will eventually pass and we will see blue skies again.
𝘉𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘧 𝘍𝘢𝘭𝘭, 2020
31.5” x 47”
Famed French Philosopher Albert Camus is often quoted by Fleury. Aspects of his own theories continue to inspire Fleury as she makes paintings of new life.
“𝘈𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘮𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘧 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳” – Albert Camus
Fleury says this quote represents how lucky we are to witness the transformation of nature over and over again. The transition of seasons never ceases to amaze Fleury.
𝘚𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘉𝘪𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴, 2019
30” x 48”
“𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘩 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘮, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘰 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘸𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘱𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘮.” - Maria Isabel Fleury
30" x 60"
This is one of three works from Fleury’s series 𝘐𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 that was inspired by another thought from Albert Camus.
“𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦, 𝘐 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘦, 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦. 𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘐 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘦, 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘦. 𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘰𝘴, 𝘐 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘦, 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘮.
𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵… 𝘐𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘪𝘥𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘐 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘦, 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘺. 𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘵 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘱𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵 𝘮𝘦, 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘦, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 – 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘱𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬.”
Fleury wanted to remind herself that regardless of what was happening during these unprecedented times, she needed to find within her heart and soul an invincible love, an invincible strength, and an invincible summer.
𝘎𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘦𝘰𝘶𝘴 𝘙𝘦𝘥 𝘔𝘢𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘴, 2021
48” x 36”
When we worked with Maria two years ago, her autumn paintings were one the biggest highlights. The vibrant warm colours of her paintings reignite that cool breeze and tranquility of a fall hike or camping trip.
Fleury notes that usually the second week of October is when she starts to really find these explosions of colour in Canada. This painting brought forward many challenges for Fleury, but bringing out such intense yellows reds and oranges is the highlight of her practice.
𝘚𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘉𝘪𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘦𝘴, 2020
24’ x 36’
𝘉𝘦𝘢𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘕𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘢𝘳𝘢 𝘎𝘭𝘦𝘯, 2020
Acrylic on Canvas
36" x 36"
As we end our time with Fleury this month, we wanted to highlight this tremendous lake-view that she painted after hiking the Niagara Glen and descending into the Niagara Gorge.
Fleury noted how her and her family were star struck by the ancient rock formations accompanied by the wonder this rich turquoise water that makes up the Niagara River.
Working with Fleury again has been such a revitalizing experience as she truly brings to life the beauty around us that many here in Canada seem to forget about. Her optimism of a brighter future and affinity for natural beauty is something we all can be inspired by. Thank you for spending the month with us again.