6 surprising facts about the Quebec artist painter Marie-Michèle Desmarais

6 surprising facts that will make you adopt the animal art of Marie-Michèle Desmarais among our best Quebecois painters.

When you look for a work of art by a Quebec painter, you want to be touched.
You want the work to speak to you.
You want the work to tell you a beautiful story.
You would even like it to represent you in your visual tastes and values.
But above all you want to know the artist, his inspirations and why not 2-3 secrets about his art.

So, here are 6 surprising facts about Marie-Michèle Desmarais that will make you adopt her animal art among the best Quebec painters.

Black and White Tiger illustration

1 - She uses a medium that tricks the eye!

We classify her art among the Quebec painters given the multitude of common points to the painting. She uses both paper and canvas as a support. Her works are presented in the form of framed paintings. A 3 dimensional effect that works on 2 dimensions.....

But what distinguishes her is her medium of choice, charcoal. A medium that fools the eye...

Indeed, the charcoal is worked by black and white contrast. And by removing the color, we force the viewer to focus on the composition, the textures and especially the emotion that emerges.

So when you look at the work, you will quickly grasp the personality of the animal and even feel its presence.

You'll see the fineness of its hair and maybe even feel the urge to pet it.
As a bonus, the black and white look of the piece is great for decorating. It's easy to match to any decor and it's timeless.

 Otter with baby black and white illustrationSnow owl black and white print

2 - She has been studying animals since she was 2 months old ....

Born in Granby, Marie-Michèle lived near the Granby Zoo when she was very young. Her parents would take her there every morning for a morning stroll.
Her mother would prepare an orange for the elephants that would come to meet them as they recognized the stroller in the distance.

She has been in close contact with the animal world since her early childhood.
By frequently seeing them, she became sensitive to their language, their gait, their behavior.

She has thus become impregnated with their singular personality and today finds it easy to represent their little character with her charcoals.


3 - With you, she gives back to nature 🌳

"When I draw, I take from the animal world what it has of more beautiful and adorable. By participating in wildlife and environmental protection projects, I feel like I am giving back to nature." - Marie-Michèle Desmarais

For each poster, canvas or card sold, the artist plants a tree in your name. She is able to do this through a partnership with the Ecologi team. You can see the forest planted by LE NID atelier so far by clicking on the link.

Also, with her current exhibition at the Marais de la Rivière aux Cerises, in Magog, she is donating 20% of the profits from the sales to L'Association du Marais de La Rivière aux Cerises (LAMRAC) for the protection of the Fauna and Flora of the Marais.

Finally, she has just composed an exclusive collection for the Granby Zoo Foundation. Five large-format works representing five endangered species are being auctioned for the benefit of the Foundation until June 17.

The zoo's collection will also be sold in the form of posters and canvases on the artist's website starting June 21. 25% of these profits will be donated to the Zoo Foundation, which has a mission of education, protection and conservation of wildlife.

Cute Foxes black and white illustration
4 - Her works come to life!

MM treats each work as if it were giving birth to a real animal. The work is not finished until it comes to life.

To do this, she needs 3 essential ingredients.

  1. An impeccable composition: structure, position in space, proportions, negative space (white space that lets the work breathe).
  2. A story: she does not only draw the animal, but all the grace it represents, or its strength or its naughty side. She draws its personality and even the symbolism of the animal in question.
  3. A touch of magic: after a multitude of layers of charcoal, this is where it appears. One can feel the presence of the animal slowly emerging, as if it could suddenly leap out of the sheet.

With these 3 ingredients, her animal charcoals come to life.

Experienced facts:
"At night before bed my children go to say good night to their raccoon and little foxes." - Annabelle S.
"I saw the highland cow wink at me." - Linda P.
"The moose watches over us at the head of our bed, we feel its wisdom and calmness. - Melanie B.

Chad Barry collaboration

5-She collaborates with Canadian photographers ( 2 artists for the price of one 😉 )

MM has often worked by collaging multiple photos from multiple sources to make her inspiration montages. She borrows the cutest eyes, the most adorable ear and the perfect tail from different animal photographs to make a near perfect whole.

With the desire to discover the story behind her inspirational photographs, she began collaborating with Canadian wildlife photographers.

She got to know each photographer, where they come from, how they do it and their favorite places to encounter wildlife. She then asked them for the rights to use some of the inspiring photographs and began drawing.

Collaboration Julie Audet et LE Nid atelierillustration porc-epic devant derrière

The final work is then an addition of MM's time behind her canvas plus all that photographer time spent outside, rain or shine waiting for the animal to capture the perfect moment. It is like "mixing" 2 works of art into one.

6- Her original creations are sold quickly 

MM works by collection. She produces 10 to 15 original works per year.

Her original works are sold at the launch of the collection.

Thereafter, the artist sells inkjet reproductions on archival paper on her online site: www.lenidatelier.com, through a network of boutiques across Quebec (including Maison Simons), Ontario and the United States.

As the popularity of her work grows, the original works are selling quickly, and many clients are on the list for upcoming collections.

Here are some interesting publications, where you can discover more about the artist and even visit his studio.

Radio-Canada interview: https://bit.ly/Entrevue_Radio_Canada
La Presse : https://bit.ly/Animalpoursonnid_La_Presse
Les idées de ma maison : https://bit.ly/Idéesdemamaison_LENID

If you never want to miss the next collections, you can follow her by subscribing to her newsletter.

At the same time :

  1. You will automatically be entered in her monthly contest (a LE NID atelier poster to be won each month)
  2. And from time to time you'll get great freebies like meal planners and coloring books

To sign up to LE NID atelier's newsletter it is here.


Here are the favorite illustrations that have made her popular

Fox illustration black and white printGiraffe black and white illustrationgrizzly with cub illustrationMoose canvas print

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