March 2020 found Jean Claude happily wintering at his home in France, painting the countryside and dreaming of a return to Newfoundland in May. In short order he found himself confined to his property. What do you do if your passion requires you to see and paint new landscapes?
At first he climbed on the roof to get a different perspective of the countryside around him.
He then painted the village from different vantage points on the ground.
But by the end of the first week he had exhausted that. Then, as the garden began to grow, he collected different flowers every morning, sometimes very early in the morning from a neighbour’s garden, and created interior landscapes in his studio, using jugs from his collection and his paint tubes as part of the composition.
In the spring of 2019, a young American documentary maker, Nicholas Mullins, spent time in Newfoundland with Jean Claude, following him as he painted. The resulting 20 minute documentary entitled Tous les Jours premiered in the US in November 2019 and has since won several awards. In one of those lovely coincidences, Nicholas listened to a CD of music composed by Newfoundlander James Hurley, who has worked with Jean Claude on collaborative projects in the past, and James agreed to compose the music for this documentary.
July 2019 saw the first edition of Art at the Gate, a new arts event in Twillingate, Newfoundland, dedicated to bringing high quality visual art to this part of the province and at the same time attract artists to come and paint there. Jean Claude led the “plein air” part, in which recognized landscape artist painted in a different location each day and invited others to join them.
Breakwater Books and Jean Claude Roy announce the publication of Terra Magna, the companion volume to Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, with paintings of Labrador and text in English, French, Inuttitut and Innu-aimun.
After the publication in 2012 of Fluctuat Nec Mergitur, with paintings of every community on the island of Newfoundland, Jean Claude turned his attention to Labrador. With fewer formal communities, a larger and difficult-to-access terrain, and a multicultural and sometimes migratory population, Labrador presented many challenges. Letting the landscape and the people speak for themselves, he has included three short texts by Labradoreans which are presented in the four main languages of Labrador.
Once again, Brian Roberts, The Book Doctor is making special editions of this book. These editions are bound in leather and linen and each will have a different original oil painting bound into the front cover, making it a unique book. Click here to see the paintings, and here if you would like further information.
An event will be held at the Emma Butler Gallery on September 9th at which the book and the special editions will be presented.
Jean Claude Roy’s painting of Beaumont Hamel, “July 1, 1916”, forms part of the new permanent exhibition at The Rooms, St John’s, Canada, entitled “Beaumont Hamel and the Trail of the Caribou”. This exhibition recounts the many contributions of Newfoundland to the war effort between 1914 and 1918, and the devastating consequences for the people of the island.
Living in both France and Newfoundland, Jean Claude was inspired by his grandfather’s experiences at the Battle of Verdun, and what he imagined the last thoughts of the Newfoundland soldiers to have been, represented by the dozens of tiny images of settlements in Newfoundland seen in the sky. This bright sky illuminates the dull muddy foreground where only three points of colour are seen: the white of the bandages, a red poppy and the blue puttees on the fallen soldier.
The shell casings were modelled on one brought back from the battlefield by his grandfather, which he now uses to hold paintbrushes, and his brother modelled for the fallen soldier. Jean Claude donated this painting to the Health Care Foundation of St John’s, NL. It was acquired from the Health Care Foundation by Browning Harvey Inc. in return for a donation of $100,000, and on the condition that it be donated to the museum.
As part of Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism’s 2016 advertising campaign, Target Marketing produced a short video showing Jean Claude painting in the community of Brigus South on the Southern Shore of the island of Newfoundland.
Jean Claude has been invited on Adventure Canada’s annual Circumnavigate Newfoundland cruise, as part of a group of cultural and scientific figures who will accompany the guests during their voyage around the island from June 19 to 29, 2016.
In 2013, Jean Claude began an association with the Battle Harbour Historic Trust, spending some days there each year painting and supporting their fundraising with donations of paintings. Situated just off the southern coast of Labrador, Battle Harbour was once an important economic centre and also the summer home to many migrant Newfoundland fishermen. The Trust is continuing its efforts to restore original buildings and provide visitors with a high level of accomodation and experience. In 2016 Jean Claude will be in residence from August 7th to 13th.
Following an encounter between Jean Claude and Vancouver art collectors Martin and Maryann Gebauer, the Gebauers decided to open an art gallery of their own in WSix, the Arthur Erickson-designed building in Vancouver’s South Granville “art gallery row”. The Pousette Gallery specializes in modern Canadian art.
In 2013, Jean Claude volunteered with kANGIDLUASUk Student Program at Torngat Mountains National Park in Labrador, Canada. This group of Inuit youth aged 16 to 19 were accompanied on painting trips to various parts of the park, and they all worked together to create a 4 x 8 foot mural that is now a permanent feature at Torngat Mountains Basecamp.