Painting Plein Air: Paul Trottier
Paul Trottier is a plein air artist from Saskatoon, Canada. He has been creating art for most of his life, and painting plein air since 2004. He served as Director of the University of Saskatchewan’s internationally acclaimed Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus, a large part of which is dedicated to painting. He is a professionally trained arts educator, retail business owner of Hues Art Supply in Saskatoon, and one-fifth of the Canadian plein air painting group, Men Who Paint.
Paul’s medium of choice in his plein air work is heavy-bodied acrylic on canvas. He explains, “Acrylic heavy-bodied paint dries fast – very fast – when it’s windy and hot, but it allows on the spot changes to composition or color choice. Carrying the finished piece home at the end of the day is easier because it is usually dry enough to be handled.”
For brushes, Paul uses Princeton Dakota 6300 Series brights and filberts. “I appreciate the way these brushes handle acrylic paint: smooth on the surface with a brush stroke evident,” he notes. “They have a wonderful feel for someone who is heavy-handed with the paint like I am, and they are incredibly durable. Some of the brushes I have in my kit are 12 years old and still get used regularly.” A fan of Princeton brushes, he also carries them in his retail store.
Paul says that the most rewarding part of the art industry is connecting with and learning from other artists, which he is grateful for the opportunity to do every day at Hues Art Supply. “I have the privilege of finding out what people are working on, and get to help them to find the right product for a new series. I am fortunate to be a part of an active arts community who believes in supporting the local artists.”
Achieving balance between business and art has presented unique challenges for Paul. “I was the only employee for the first year and then trained others for the past three.” His hard work has paid off, and he is pleased that he is finally able to take time for painting again. “I find that working with my business actually drives me to want to paint more. When I do get to the studio, I have many ideas that need to be expressed – it’s a flurry!”
Artist Website: http://www.paulgtrottier.com/
Hues Art Supply: http://huesart.ca/