I first saw Yvon Goulet’s work in Calgary. My friend Ron owns a couple of pieces and has them hanging the bar at the Calgary Eagle. Max and I went to the gallery in Calgary that has some of his work but didn’t find anything that we really really like and so I was trying to arrange to talk Max to Montreal for Valentine’s day and to go see Yvon at his studio. Obviously that never happened. However, we made a point of flying back through Montreal after Caribbean cruise.
Yes I know that that sounds exotic but there is more to tell about that story, the how and the why and the what.
Anyway, I had made sure that I had Yvon’s number with me. He had told me to call when we were going to be in Montreal and he could arrange to meet us at his studio. I called as we left Orlando the morning of July 1 and make arrangements to meet him on St Cathrine’s Street in the village. The street has been closed for four days for international arts show. We get there just has it finished, DRAT! But still we got a sense of what the show as like. The buzz is still in the air and there are thousands of people milling about the street. It is a great event. We later learn that the street will be closed every weekend for the summer. How progressive.
We make arrangements to meet at his studio at 9:00 a.m the next morning. We arrive and find the brick work being replaced on the front of the row houses.
It is a small flat with a back garden. I estimated the size to be about 700 square feet. Yvon uses every small room to work and to store his work. He has transformed the back yard, about the size three parking stalls, into an oasis. It is lush and green. He’s is created a pond. It is a perfect space to provide him the ‘white space’ that he probably needs as he paints.
Yvon starts to haul out painting after painting of things we both find very interesting. After much discussion we settle on two pieces and commission him to do a third for us.
This first one was a concept for a mural that he did. I love the loose way the background is painted and the tension between the viewer and the men. The colours don’t show up well here so you’ll just have to come and see us in Red Deer.
These pieces are painted on recycled plastic. They are more similar to the piece that Ron had in Calgary. We both just love them but have absolutely no where to put them. Yet we know we’ll find a spot somewhere in the house.
The third piece we asked Yvon to do for us is of two men wearing business suits kissing. He had one there but it was sold. We just love the meaning of the painting on a couple of levels.
We left Yvon’s fairly happy with our purchases and went off to explore the city district. It became clear to us this we would love to buy a flat in Montreal. Since coming home we have discussed it further. It is my goal to have something there before the end of the year. We both love the idea of staying in Canada for get aways and yet the distinctly European culture of Montreal truly does feel so different from the west. Their interest in the arts, food, and quality of life all appeal to us. We had the most amazing dinner that night.
The next day we realized that we needed one more day in Montreal and so went to the airport and volunteered to be bumped from the flight. Air Canada is always overselling their flights. The gave us $200 each and said come back tomorrow evening to fly home.
So without luggage or a place to stay we took a cab back to the city and enjoyed the adventure for another 36 hours. We explored the streets, the food, did some shopping for the team at the store, bought ourselves new sunglasses.
Max’s might have been inspired by the recent painting purchase, but they look really great on him. Mine are more intellectual and funky. They both suit our personalities and I love the fact that we are becoming more defined as individuals, and each of us finding that attractive in one another.