Duchesne, Raymonde

Raymonde Duchesne (Lac St-Jean 1945-Quebec 2013)

All are born in the eye of the painter , springing one day from her imagination and memory – men and women  , mothers and children . Dressed in old-fashioned clothes , they have no real place in the present time , no real faces other than those the artist has given  them  . Immobile, serene and sometimes shy , how many  of them watch  for the least  sign of the outside  world , perhaps  in order to turn away from it ?
Ingenius and timid , do they call out to us from their world of secret silences ? For the last 30 years Raymonde Duchesne has invented her « people, » granting them in their daily lives a loving expression perfumed with candour  and nostalgia . Through  many a gesture of tenderness , patience and renuntiation , and musing , she has set to canvas  her own journey thought life , strewn  with joys and sorrows , both large and small . Such is her work . A precious chronology in image and text , the milestones of the journey ,
this book , her first , resembles a family  album , that of a family  gravitating around the image of the mother , of all mothers, of  hers in particular . Thus , one by one , genre scenes slip out from the pages . In style and in spirit they continue the heritage of the « human style-lifes » of Modigliani , The flattened perspectives of Matisse , or , still yet , the enigmatic portraits of Lemieux  . None the less , through this simple figuration impregnated with  a  gentle  naivete , each  painting transforms  the anecdote into a scene of emotions .

Look carefully . Life slips away , intensifies . The muffled-up and static figures  of the beginning , so often isolated and confined , are slowly  liberated . Their presences , in an unspecified time ,  becomes more  precise  as they  develop  complicity . Their forms become rounder , more « sensuel, » and brighter in contact with colour  and flowery exteriors ,  increasingly present  . Crumpled letters , cages birds ,and dolls serve as symbols to be interpreted .
Nicole Allard
Historienne de l’art