” I was born in Maillardville, a French Canadian community near Vancouver. One of 6 siblings, we grew up in a loving albeit frugal family, with very artistic parents.
I discovered my artistic expression when I was about 7 years old, playing in our back yard among an abundance of wildflowers. I recall scrounging in my Memere’s craft closet to find materials to express my impressions of that field. Using scraps of wool I created my first artistic image, beginning my journey into the world of art.
My evolution into glass art was totally unforeseen. While waiting for some glass shelves for a client, I noticed heaps of broken glass ready to be thrown out.
“What a waste…what can I do with it”
And so began my work with shattered glass of all shapes and sizes. It offers endless possibilities, consistently pushing me to new discoveries. Each piece is unique, original, and reflects my creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and free spirit.
I love spending hours placing each shard of glass.
It is a spiritual experience for me to create each piece.
You discovered your artistic expression when you were young. Can you tell me how that felt…if you recall?
Yvette: Yes, I do remember. I was about 7 years old. I went out to play. The sun was shining, and I saw the field at the back of our house full of wildflowers that seemed to have grown overnight. It was beautiful!
I remember wondering, how was I going to create this vision. I ran to my Grandmother’s home to find everything I needed to create my piece of art. After I finished it, I involved my Dad in my project. He made a frame for my picture and it seemed the perfect final touch. I remember feeling so proud of myself and thinking, wow, that was so much fun.
What message are you trying to give with your art?
Yvette: I want to inspire and move people. I want them to remember my work and perhaps observe the fun, passion, and love for details. But above all, I create art for ME. I have over the years been so very lucky to have the freedom to create whatever excites me. I have no rules on how to create with glass. I love that freedom. I want to share that I am not out to get rich or famous, I just want to create. I need to create, as it’s so much a part of me. Selling art is wonderful, but giving art to friends and family is just as exciting.
Do you envision your glass pieces from start to final artwork? Can you walk us through your artistic process?
Yvette: My process is both organized and disorganized. I definitely envision my glass pieces before I start. Sometimes I can be inspired by a dream, a picture, or even just a canvas, then I have a mini-plan and a starting point. I usually work on several pieces at a time. I definitely keep in mind that it has to work with shattered glass. I don’t sleep well for the first night when I start a piece, because my brain works out the details. The next day I start a rough sketch and then the work usually just takes over. I follow my instincts and impulses and all hell seems to break loose, then I seem to go nuts! Some would describe it as a zone you get into and I totally agree. I start with painting and then hours of gluing. It’s the process I love the most about creating glass art. It’s very calming, and meditative and the pieces of glass just fit right one piece after another. After creating a piece I seem to emerge from my peaceful daze and a little out of myself. The final touch is usually more detailed and then VOILA! It’s finished.
Can you tell us a bit about your transition into glass art?
Yvette: Yes I love telling this story. One of my clients that I was decorating for needed glass shelves. When I got to the glass establishment, the glass shelves weren’t ready so I decided to walk around the building while they finished my order. I was blown away by all the shattered glass that was just scattered on the ground. I thought to myself what a waste, what can I do with it? I took several bags of shattered glass home, washed it all, dried it, and then put it in a closet. Shortly after, I started dreaming about how I could create with this glass. All excited, I bought several different types of glue, came home, and started experimenting and I haven’t stopped since. I taught myself how to work with this glass. Since that time, I started creating huge glass pieces for my client’s homes. These days I create on a much smaller scale.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired your artwork.
Yvette: I met this wonderful woman at a party. She is an accomplished Artist and we really connected that night, and so I invited her over to my home. When she saw my artwork she was blown away by what I created and looked at me and said “you are an amazing artist.” Being self-taught, I wouldn’t call myself an artist. I told her I wasn’t an artist because I had no art school education. She told me that I was so lucky to not have gone to art school and that I had no rules to follow and no box to break out of. Her comments made such an impact on me, that I proudly announced myself to be an artist. Since then my artwork has more meaning, excitement, and passion.
What artist influenced you the most and why?
Yvette: Many artists influence me, but my parents and my grandmother were the biggest influencers. With French family origins, they were taught to be creative, clever, original, and not wasteful. I learned the lessons well. We always knew where our Papa was, as he was always in his workshop creating something. It was one of my favorite places to be, and I loved watching him create beautiful things in wood. He actually taught himself Antarsia wood carving. He would spend hours cutting and shaping pieces of wood and put it all together like a puzzle. Until he died my dad was in his workshop for hours creating while my mom was upstairs quilting Baby quilts with leftover fabric. When the quilts were completed she donated them to charities. When we were very young Mom sewed for my three sisters and I. Mom would find second-hand coats take them apart and make coats for us without patterns. She also could whip up a huge meal in no time at all. She was an amazing Maman. Then my wonderful grandmother was a mixed media artist. I did not know that then, but she was so very clever, creative, and thrifty and I absolutely loved spending time with her while we created together. These were just three of the special people who helped to shape me into who I am today as an artist and as a person.
How does creating art make you feel?
Yvette: I paint every day and for me painting is a way of life, a way of being. I found in the last 2 years, I have become more loose, more sophisticated, more intuitive. I love getting out of my head and connecting with my magical self. I feel I have more courage in the sense of not being afraid to ruin things and allowing myself to just push the work to its limit purely because of how it makes me feel.
Sometimes I find myself giggling like a little girl while I paint. It seems like sheer magic for me. I truly believe the energy of this feeling is infused into each piece of glass and it carries through to whoever buys my glass pieces.
From the beginning my process of discovery with glass has blown me away with endless possibilities, and I am never bored. It is like a treasure hunt, finding surprises, and in the end I feel happy and satisfied with my hours of painting and gluing glass pieces.
What challenges have you faced in your creative work?
Yvette: Running out of walls to hang my art…ha ha! Painting in my kitchen in our very small apartment. Cleaning up so we can cook in the kitchen. But seriously, it’s been a wonderful journey and each challenge ends up teaching me something. The biggest challenge has been the business part of Art, and most artists would say the same. I am fortunate to have a supportive partner who, besides appreciating my art, takes care of finding venues and assuming the business part. So, on the whole the challenges have been minimal.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Yvette: I believe Instagram (Yvettesglassart) has been the best way to connect with people from all over the world and to display all my different interests. Facebook (Yvette’s glass art) has also been a great way to connect with family, friends, and clients.
Are there any up and coming shows or workshops we should know about or cancellations.
Yvette: Until COVID-19 arrived on the planet, I had venues and some Art Fairs booked until September. Unfortunately everything has been canceled so I rely on Instagram and Facebook to display my new pieces.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Yvette: Yes it keeps me sane. Creating for me is like breathing. I need that true part of me to come forth, that part I love.
What are your plans for the future?
Yvette: In the future I would like to explore more possibilities with glass. I would also love to find a special person that has the knowledge of painting, that is super excited about what I create and I would love to teach them, and let them fly with it!
What I do with glass is unique, and unique is rare!
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