About Art: Inspired by nature

Published on March 17, 2017

Irene Boudreau has a knack for capturing nature in all its beauty. She is part of an art exhibit called Art 5 (Art to the power of 5) this July in Tatamagouche.


Photographer Irene Boudreau has a knack for capturing the world around her.

She has lived most of her life in Port Hastings and has shown her work at the J.Franklin Wright Gallery, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design and at the Lyghtesome Gallery. Soon she will bring her unique view to Tatamagouche.

Boudreau is working on a collaboration with four artists Carolyn Bedford, Leslie Morin, Christene Sandeson and Todd Vassallo called Art 5 (Art to the power of 5), which is an exhibit that will be presented by The Fraser Cultural Centre in Tatamagouche this July.


How did you start making art?

It was in the days of film, and I decided to buy a darkroom with a friend. I was quickly intrigued with experimenting with developing times, chemical temperatures, filters and paper types and the effect they gave to an image.  I then decided to add the camera into the mix and create my own images. It was time for some formal training, so I picked a course that taught photography from the camera to the print with lots of lab work. I have always done creative work but due to an illness it was necessary for me to not spend so much time in large groups of people. So I took to nature with a macro lens and discovered a whole new world to explore and share.

I make art to share my view of the world and to encourage others to take a closer look.

It keeps me focused and balanced.


What inspires you?

I am inspired by nature. I love to use a macro or zoom lens to get close enough to see patterns, colours and textures that are not apparent to the naked eye because the subject is too small or too hard to get close to. I am also inspired by light, soft defused or hard with contrast.  The right light will let me express an emotion, set the mood, emphasize some things while making others less apparent. Light lets me lead the eye though my image.


How do you work?

I am always searching for new subjects. When I decided I have found something I would like to capture in an image I start very early in the morning with my gear, water and food before sunrise prepared to spend as much time as is required to get the image i am looking for. I usually have to go more then once and in different weather conditions to find what conditions, learning more about my subject each time. Of course, this is only one part of the job. I shoot everything in a raw format, which allows me to complete my work in editing software allowing me to fine tune my images more quickly, precisely and with ways to be creative I could only dream about in the darkroom.


What's your background?

I completed training in commercial photography at the NSCC, Halifax campus. I did commercial photography for many years; portraits, weddings, graduations, the regular stuff. I ran my own studio and darkroom for about 15 years and processed my own images, colour and b/w and custom work.


How has your practice changed over time?

I used to create images that other people chose. I now create images that are of my choosing. I am no longer limited with number of images it takes to get what I'm looking for due to film size and the creative possibilities with digital camera's and editing software is more then I could of imagined. I'm back to learning material that can be printed on and online training sites to learn how to use my programs. It is an exciting time to be in the digital world.


What are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on a an exhibit called Art 5.  It will contain images of birds taken within a 25 mile radius of my home. I hope to increase awareness of nature close at hand, by sharing a closer glimpse into my mine.


Janice Guinan is a local artist who passionately believes in the importance of visual art. Contact her at janice@janiceguinan.com.