Claire Desjardins
paints the town red

As a painter, Claire Desjardins has been deeply influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists, particularly in their use of colour and gesture to capture and probe meaning and emotion. She writes, “My paintings are personal. The outside world is referenced quite indirectly through the filter of my emotions. Through my work, I find myself expressing sentiments or reactions of which I am consciously unaware.” Desjardins works intuitively, provoked by the everyday world around her. “All of my work is an attempt to decipher the chatter in my head, to put forward a less awkward side of myself, to navigate through my everyday chaos towards calm.” Works such as Listen Carefully, Meanwhile Inside my Mind, The Elephant in the Room or the series of small canvases entitled The Secrets We Keep reflect her quotidian inspirations.

We move from quiet works where translucent washes are overlaid with delicate under-drawings and tonal brush-marks to more forceful pieces that play with geometric shapes and bold gestural flourishes across a terrain of saturated, brilliant hues – cadmium yellow, vermillion, pthalo blue. Each painting seems anchored in its own internal reasoning and experienced moment, especially evident in the several series the artist has pursued over the last few years. Thus, there is an unabashed courage in these works emerging from what seems to be a sincere desire to know and understand the world through paint.


Claire Desjardins worked for many years as a graphic designer before turning to art full time in 2011. She is represented by galleries and also teaches painting workshops in both Canada and the U.S., and has attended several residencies including the Da Wang Culture Highland Artist residency in southeastern China.

You can view her works at The Gallery at Victoria Hall until March 24th.

Claire is an abstract painter who teaches painting workshops in both Canada and the US, and has received grants to attend various artist residencies including one in China. She has been interviewed by various art publications, and appears regularly on a number of blogs. U.S. retail chain, Anthropologie, has reproduced her artwork on merchandise, selling it under the Claire Desjardins signature label. Claire’s work has appears regularly in feature films and television shows.

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