Jean-François Mincet with one of his many paintbrushes.

Jean-François Mincet with one of his many paintbrushes.

Painter tells stories of human emotion one brush at a time

Sooke artist Jean-Francois Mincet is one of the few whose works will be displayed at the Sooke Fine Arts Show in July.

As June slowly draws the curtain, July is around the corner with one of the largest art events in the region – that’s right, the Sooke Fine Arts Show is back.

This year, the Sooke Mirror will feature a local artist of a different style every week leading up to the show, showcasing the Sooke region’s rich – and wonderful – collection of talented creators.

The Sooke Fine Arts Show (July 22 to August 1) is a regional exhibition of fine art presenting 375 works by artists from Sooke, Vancouver Island and the surrounding coastal Islands.

As in recent years, the SEAPARC Leisure Complex hockey arena is converted into a 17,000 square foot art gallery, attracting thousands of visitors through its 11-day run.

This week we kick off with Jean-Francois Mincet, a local French artist whose lifelong passion is to tell the stories of people and the world through expressive (and intimately vivid) paintings and sketches, whether they are oil, watercolor or crayon-based.

“I can’t live without painting, it’s my calling,” Mincet said in his Sooke home, of which virtually every wall is covered in paintings he’s done over the years, top and bottom. “It’s not for money, but for pleasure.”

Born and raised in Paris, France, Mincet showed a strong affinity towards art by drawing and painting of his surroundings and those in them at just six years old.

It wasn’t until he was 10 when he met renown French author Maurice Genevoix, that Mincet’s unique ability to visualize and paint what he saw was recognized. Mincet admired Genevoix for telling real-life stories in immense detail, a trait that would later be seen in many of his later works.

Regardless of whether it’s written, painted, or sketched, Mincet said it’s all about visualizing and making sense of the emotion that comes from within.

“Art must be moving and genuine, it cannot be fabricated.”

In his 20s, Mincet worked for a small Parisian publication creating watercolor artwork for “miniatures”, a type of medieval-era French literature, including illustrations for Le Petit Prince.

Like the olden days, each book was individually produced by hand, art drawn to the tiniest detail.

“It was fantastic to work on something that is considered a long-lost artform,” Mincet said, adding that he would first read the text, then imagine it “with heart.”

Even in their day, they were not for the proletariat, as these one-off books were commissioned by kings and queens with an often specific purpose, usually telling a love story, or depicting a battle.

But Mincet’s paintings often tell stories that go beyond the canvas, depicting people in an spiritual, meditative state, such as his collection of works based on his numerous trips to India.

Despite some of his works having a religious look, Mincet said his works have no religious undertone, but more of a “beyond the infinite” kind of feel.

“They are simply spiritual … it’s a representation of humanity’s endless search for the divine,” he said, noting that his style is mostly interpretive realism, rather than abstract surrealism.

“There has to be emotion and a real important meaning in what you are painting,” Mincet said.

Classical music helps him visualize what he’s painting and what the subject matter really is, though what’s happening in the real world today – both good and bad – is more than enough inspiration.

“Inspiration cannot be taught, it has to come from within,” he said, adding that all an artist really needs to constantly work at is technique and a keen observation.

Mincet’s featured piece at this year’s Sooke Fine Arts Show remains to be a surprise, though he has revealed (massive) piece is “vivid and realistic representation of nature.”

His work was featured in art galleries throughout Europe, Canada and the United States.

For more information on the upcoming go to sookefinearts.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future

Royal BC Museum dives into the world of orcas with upcoming feature exhibition

Frank Ludwig in a forklift with his long hair during Trooper’s heyday. (Photo submitted)
Humble Island beginnings blossomed into storied career for Trooper keyboardist

Frank Ludwig got his start as a boy pumping the organ in a tiny downtown Chemainus church

Joan Miller with the Vancouver Island North Regional Film Commission says there’s much room for optimism in the region rebounding from COVID-19 and is excited about what the future holds for the region. Black Press File Photo
North Island film industry optimistic about post-COVID rebound

Interest in filming here is still high, according to film commission, once things open back up

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, has been filming in Langford and Colwood over the past two weeks. On April 7, filming will take place on the east side of the Esquimalt Lagoon. (Black Press Media file)
Netflix series ‘Maid’ filming in Colwood

10-episode Warner Bros. production filmed exclusively in Greater Victoria

Victoria mural artists Joshua Lundrigan (from left) and Paul Archer join Rob Chyzowski, co-owner of Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner in front of an Archer-designed mural that went up on Thursday at the Inner Harbour restaurant. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Positivity rules with new outdoor mural from Victoria artist

Paul Archer teams with Belleville’s Watering Hole and Diner for patio project

Thomas Kuecks, Bellamy Kuecks and Paula Foot have come together to create an album of stories for children. (Nina Foot photo)
Moments with Miss Paula creates musical stories for kids

Music and the spoken word from Island pair available on streaming

Author Eden Robinson poses for a portrait during an interview in Toronto, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Trickster trilogy author Eden Robinson hosts online conversation and reading

Haisla and Heiltsuk will join fans in event hosted by Vancouver Island Regional Library

Nanaimo author Lawrence Winkler’s latest book is ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa.’ (Bulletin file photo/supplied)
Nanaimo author wraps up trilogy following ‘antihero’ Island doctor

Lawrence Winkler presents ‘The Last Casebook of Doctor Sababa’

‘Frank Ney’ by Patrick Flavin, ‘Millstone River Upper Falls’ by John Collison Baker, ‘Labyrinth of Dreams’ by MA Molcan, ‘On the Other Side’ by Liana Ravensbergen, ‘December Snow’ by Laurel Karjala and ‘Jacks Point’ by Dana Smiley (cropped, clockwise from top-left) are among the works in the Nanaimo Arts Council’s latest exhibition. (Photos courtesy Nanaimo Arts Council)
Nanaimo Arts Council presents its first online gallery show

Submissions now open for upcoming ‘Ekphrastic Celebration’ show

Dorothy Sevcov’s exhibition ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ is on display at Art 10 Gallery until the end of the month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Experimental paintings now on exhibit at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Dorothy Sevcov’s ‘Having Fun With Acrylics’ on display through April

Courtenay artist Christine Boyer presents Alongside My Path: Native Wildflowers of Canada at Gallery Merrick from April 9 to 23. (Photo courtesy Christine Boyer)
Island painter shows off the wildflowers of Western Canada in first solo show

Courtenay’s Christine Boyer presents floral exhibit at Nanaimo’s Gallery Merrick

Nanaimo Harbourfront Library librarian April Ripley led the effort to create a Vancouver Island poetry booklet in recognition of National Poetry Month. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Harbourfront Library publishes booklet for National Poetry Month

Collection features winners of ‘Poem in your Pocket’ contest

SENCOTEN language revitalizationist and filmmaker Renee Sampson’s short film, Bringing Our Language Back to LIfe, shows online during the Reel 2 Real International Youth Film Festival, April 14-23. (Photo courtesy Wapikoni)
SENCOTEN language featured in short film created on Saanich Peninsula

Renee Sampson film highlights importance of passing on traditional languages to youth

Most Read