Memory Overlay

On the Web features inspiring artists who use social media and various sharing platforms for the purpose of promoting their art on the Internet.

Born in Jonquière, Québec, Patrice Cantin obtains his BA in Visual and Media Arts from Université du Québec à Montréal in 2002. As part of his studies, the artist explores an inter-disciplinary approach to painting, often integrating music and performance aspects. This academic research laid out the premises of his present corpus.

The artist’s desire to paint is initiated by the recollection of a composition and a colour. These abstractions carry a load of ideas, of concepts accumulated overtime and stored throughout the channels of his creative memory. “I don’t take notes. Shapes, atmospheres, colours, contrasts are all stacked-up in my mind.” The artist starts painting without any definite plan of execution, rather relying on instinct. The narrative materializes as he works, and, from these spontaneous movements, from these medium overlays, from this distinctive gestural technique, a ‘Cantin’ comes to life.

Oily Selfie

Oily Selfie

Tell us about your choice of medium?

C.: I am presently working with oil and oil sticks. I rarely use any tools other than my hands and the painting knife.

How would you describe your work in a 140 characters tweet, hashtags included?

C.: #Cantin artist painter #abstract portraits, semi-figurative work featuring light and plays on shadows and spots.

How important is it for an artist to have a website and be present on social media?

C.: A presence online is today extremely important, essential even. My website is my business card! To all those people I don’t have the opportunity to meet or that do not visit my studio, a personal website is a good way to show my work. Social media allow me to share my work and promote it to those people who are outside our usual circles of friends.

Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso

Have you called on professional help for your website’s design and programming?

C.: I myself am webmaster and programmer. It’s what I do to make ends meet. I conceive and design my own things as I wish!

What would you recommend for artists who still do not have a website and whose budget is rather limited?

C.: A good number of platforms exist today that allow one to set-up a website without requiring any particular knowledge. However, one must put-in the time needed. Taking good photographs is essential.

At what frequency do you update your website?

C.: Every time I have a new painting, I update my website.

How much time, on a professional basis, are you investing in social media?

C.: Hum… I may appear addicted, but I spend a great deal of time in front of my monitor promoting my paintings. It’s constantly ongoing. If I added-up the moments spent in one day, I would say it totalled between 3 and 5 hours.

Neon Boss

Neon Boss

What impact has social media had on your career?

C.: I sell 90% of my work on the web. 75% on Facebook. It’s a powerful platform for one who knows how to use it effectively.

If you could recommend one inspirational website to other artists, which one would it be?

C.: For inspiration, I sometimes visit A good number of creators frequent the site and it’s a nice window where you can refresh the creative side of your brain whenever it fails you.

What are your forthcoming projects for the next 6 months or more? Any exhibitions, artist residency, or training sessions planned?

C.: I am presently working on large size triptychs that will be both streamlined and tumultuous. I will be exhibiting my work in Toronto in September during the Toronto Outdoor Art event. In 2016, I will be present at Galerie Carte Blanche with a solo exhibition.

 Text by Isabelle Gagné

The following links will allow you to follow Cantin on the Web and stay connected with the artist:

Official Website:





We also invite you to stay connected with Magazin’Art on our various media:

Official Website:





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