Old Masters Academy

Chasing destiny

Chasing destiny



Feedback from Dominique Gaillard

When I was 16, during my last of high school, I had an amazing art teacher who really opened my eyes to the fact that yes I could draw. He was such a great teacher that I aced the class no problem, but most importantly it awoke my passion for art. Unfortunately as he was only a substitute, he left once the regular boring passionless teacher came back.
I kept drawing though, especially portraits. Unfortunately my parents wouldn’t allow me to go to art school, and I was made to go through business school for which I never had any inkling.
Fast forward. I ended up leaving my country of origin and emigrated elsewhere where I could study. I ended up studying and teaching English and French Literature. So you see I was on the track to art, I was writing and teaching people how to write, why we write, why we need poetry and novels.

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Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I became ill and eventually lost my teaching position as a result. For 4 years I was in a lot of pain and extremely tired. In 2004 when it became clear I would no longer be able to teach I decided that I wasn’t going to feel sorry for myself, and that it was high time for me to do what I had always wanted to do but was kept from because my parents had said to me that I couldn’t earn a living from being an artist.

I began taking drawing lessons at a local art store. I’d copy anything that came my way and struck a cord. I was into landscapes and copied postcards, pictures from books or my own photos. After 1 year I came in contact with a new art school founded by 2 students out the New York Academy of Art. I started with plaster casts, drew the skeleton, a few still life compositions, took a quick anatomy class and eventually started on the Live Model, something that hadn’t even entered my mind to try out. Needless to say it was hard.

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After taking all the classes offered at the time (their curriculum has evolved with time), I decided I needed to find a way to practice all I had learn in order to absorb all this wonderful technique. As there were no long pose live model, I started my own group out of my home. It was immensely successful and my friends urged me to keep it going. I approached someone at one of MontrĂ©al’s 4 universities and kept my Live Model drawing session going for about 7 years. In the mean time I took over the orgnization of another Live Model group in a cultural center. I also started modelling myself to better understand the models I was hiring. (I also have a background in dance). I organized and hosted numerous drawing/artistic events, created another 4 hour long life drawing group. Today I draw and paint the model every week with my participants and friends. Last year I spent 6 months painting the countryside, en plien air of course.

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