To Lucas Gaudette, satisfaction in life—and art—is derived with less: clean lines, negative space, and form and figure over detail.
“So much can be said with so little,” says 35-year-old Gaudette, who's distinctive style he calls “Gaudesse.” “I make use of negative space as the principle agent of my technique.”
When Gaudette creates a new piece, his underlying intention is to always stay attuned to his state of appreciation. His choice subject? While he admits it could be anything—“a blade of grass, a person, a donut”—he gravitates to appreciating the feminine form.
He reflects on his commissions, where he paints many different body types: “I have had clients that felt very shy and insecure about their appearance take the risk and come to me about doing a drawing of them. I replicate their exact body features using my own style and when they see their drawing they have an instant sense of being far more attractive than they had realized. It's a healing experience for many and I'm not sure there's much a better medicine than this for women in today's culture.”
Gaudette's artistic exploration of the female figure began with detailed cartoon drawings more than a decade ago. During one morning in 2012 at a retreat centre on Bowen Island he came to an artistic epiphany—an epiphany that matched his already minimalist and ever-moving lifestyle: “I wanted to express what I was feeling in a way that was succinct and in the moment. The result was something much more concise and true to my intentions in the work,” he says.
“As a Virgo, it's exciting to narrow down many elements and put it down into a cohesive idea,” he reflects.
His work became progressively simpler, until he realized one day just what he needed to keep and what he needed to let go of when it came to the lines themselves. Today, his work that once had a taboo element has evolved into something safe enough to be shared with everyone. To self-taught Gaudette, art is an expression and, once complete, it's up to the viewers to fill in their own meaning.
After more than a decade in B.C., Gaudette, who hails from Ontario, lives a lifestyle that is definitively West Coast. Outside of creating art, and writing accompanying poetry, he can often be found on his motorcycle along the Sea to Sky highway, meditating, or doing something else that involves enjoying life and friends. He also, however, is programmed with a hefty dose of entrepreneurism that has seen him through such past ventures as a line of natural body products and, today, a web-design company.
In art, such as life, he considers knowing when to stop to be the highest discipline.