Bernard Quintal was born in 1956 in St-Quentin, New Brunswick. He moved many times in three provinces because of his father’s work. He obtained a medical degree at Ottawa University in 1979. Since 1981, Bernard has lived with his spouse Lucie in the Dalhousie region of New Brunswick beside the beautiful Bay of Chaleur.
Bernard started painting with watercolours in 1979. However, a busy medical practice curtailed his artistic endeavours for many years. Bernard is mainly a self-taught artist, but in 2015 he enrolled in several watercolour workshops. He also started oil painting classes. He now paints regularly. Since 2016 he has exhibited his new works in several group exhibitions.
Bernard’s current interest is a close-up exploration of Maritime beaches, especially the colourful rocks and odd items found there, such as driftwood, shells and vegetation. In early 2019, he started painting a new collection of larger watercolour works about this subject. He has photographed maritime beaches with an imaginary magnifying glass. He has a need to preserve a memory of childhood pristine shores reliving the joy of discovery. However, Bernard is also preoccupied by the degradation of sea and riverbanks due to storms, flooding and rising sea levels. The increasing presence of plastics and other unwelcome trash is destroying the view and posing a threat to marine life. He hopes to encourage people to protect the long-term legacy of maritime sea and riverbanks.
I have always been fascinated by rocks on the shores. From early childhood until now, they are treasures for me. They mark the passage of time and I want to paint their history. Rocks are the principal actors in my recent works with a few honoured guests such as driftwood, shells and local vegetation.
I study the shore with an imaginary magnifying glass and the result of my observation is what I want to replicate. I choose to detail my vision meticulously using watercolour as the medium. As I paint the many shapes and coloration of my subjects, I relive the joy of discovery. There is always a surprise if one looks closely.
Currently our shores are in peril and I worry about the future. Erosion from storms, flooding, tree clearcutting, rising sea levels and the increasing flow of streams in spring due to large snowfalls and heavy rains are the new threats. There are also undesirable trashy plastic newcomers that pollute some of my works. Although I may be an idealist, my hope is to find again the pristine shores of my childhood. I would like to preserve a permanent memory of their presence.
Bernard Quintal, 2020
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