The events of the past year and a half have significantly changed the lives of people all over the world. Suddenly, we had to rediscover our “normal”. Events and gatherings were approached in a completely new way, interactions were limited, and people became less physically connected. The common practise of sending a bouquet to a loved one for a particular event - baby shower, wedding, holiday, funeral - became heightened in the time following March 2020. As people were encouraged to distance themselves physically, we had to rely on another method to express our congratulations, gratitude, and grief.
During this time, I immediately began linking moments or events in my own life with bouquets and painting those bouquets. In painting the bouquets, I am personifying the floral arrangements as those moments and events. Transforming 3-dimensional, ephemeral, living forms into 2-dimensional, permanent paintings on canvas. The painting then becomes that moment. The painting then becomes that event.
This practise has allowed me to honour the memory of a past event or moment and fully connect with the present. Recreating the bouquet as a painting forces me to carefully study and meditate on the arrangement (event or moment), express my experience through the painting, and then let go. What is left for me is a renewed sense of presence and wholeness.
Nuevos is a collection of paintings completed during the past six months. We welcomed our first child into the world in September 2020 and have since moved from Toronto, Canada to Playa del Carmen, México. The theme of our lives has been ‘change’. Approaching painting in this meditative way has given me a renewed sense of peace. Each painting has a unique personal story to it, however I encourage the viewer to associate their own experiences with the artworks.
Noelle Lalonde is a painter’s painter. She approaches the canvas without preconceived notions and allows the process to guide her through the painting. In her most recent works she uses flora and fauna as her base or jumping-off point then “takes the plunge” and immerses herself in the development of the painting as it occurs, responding to every mark with a keenly developed improvisational style. Lalonde relishes the pure colour and movement of paint on the surface. She “listens” to the paint. Lalonde has worked out her own visual language through years of experimentation and exploration. While reference-based, Lalonde has a multidimensional aspect to her work, objects are analyzed, broken up and reformed. These are sophisticated paintings with an acute sense of colour, gesture and division of space. Like a tangle of vines, her paintings invite you to travel through them and explore the sensations that arise from the colours and forms. In an era when figuration, animal and flower painting have but few sturdy adherents, Lalonde follows her inclinations. She clearly enjoys creating an individual capture of light within the paintings, its source, its play on the subjects, its push and pull into near shadow. The outside world has made an appearance inside and taken root, creating a life of its own.
Lalonde is an emerging artist and a 2017 graduate of the painting and drawing program at OCAD university, she is living in Toronto ON.