Tag: Figurative Art

Emile Shamie – Mondes Imaginaires

Emile Shamie – Mondes Imaginaires

“Whatever is realized in a painting travels through me. I am just the medium. I have no control over the process.” Emile Shamie

Born in Montreal, Emile Shamie’s journey from businessman to artist has unfolded with intense devotion not unlike the inspired works he creates in his Saint-Henri studio. A sucessful business owner for four decades, Shamie was entrenched in high-pace, competitive world of fashion. All the while, precious breathing space came in time spent painting, drawing and studying art. With a lifetime’s inspiration from dance, music and the martial arts, the transition to full-time artist became complete seven years ago upon selling his business. With a fresh approach to his canvas and with a finely tuned sense of balance and control, Emile Shamie has humbly embarked on a second career as Artist.

Emile Shamie – The Transition Project Cocktail Launch 2019


The Transition Project was founded by Jackson Labell-Nevard in July 2018. The basis for the organization was inspired by Jackson’s trip in 2017 with his grandmother’s charity, Leave Out Violence (LOVE). When he met with a diverse range of 16-24 year-old individuals who were part of LOVE and discussed the future, he noticed that many had their dreams clouded by a multitude of different aspects. He then arrived at the realization that too many young adults are inhibited from following their career goals due to insecurity, background, culture, or their upbringings.

This ever-present issue sparked Jackson’s motivation to empower young adults around him. By initially working with Batshaw and finding several foster-youth individuals jobs, he realized that employment was the most instrumental tool to make strides in this goal. After recruiting a group of like-minded peers, he sought to find employment for the demographics who were suffering with poverty and had limited access to opportunity, no matter their age. Once we revamped our organization in early 2019, we were able to narrow our mission and thereby improve our understanding of such demographics, ultimately to create an organization that aims to be part of each step of the major transition into the workforce. The Transition Project’s vision stems from the desire to highlight the true potential of our candidates to employers as well as for them to manifest it for themselves.

Today, The Transition Project has grown to unexpected levels due to the tireless support from passionate volunteers, employers, donors, and organizations. But we know that the problems in Montreal are still present, and we won’t stop working at our mission until it is attained, or hopefully, exceeded.

Emile Shamie – Amor & Psyche

Emile Shamie – Amor & Psyche

Emile Shamie finds himself through the process of art. It’s all intuitive with no advance planning, or expectation of what element the results will reveal. And so there is that element of surprise to it all. It’s a liberating and gestural way of capturing something elemental. As drawings, the best of them, are configurations of the model in a moment in time, and an embodiment of life’s energy. Whether fleeting or more solid, each Shamie study speaks of how the artist feels at that creative moment in time. Through a process of trial and error, he captures his models, and with his best works there is almost a character of projection. Some of his drawings are almost right; still others are hit and miss. Out of an ongoing process akin to live action painting, the most successful ones capture the movements of arms, legs, and overall stance and bodily gestures. These women are definitely there in all their moods, states of being. Each one is different. The nuances might suggest a voluptuous, a reposeful, a reflective or an energized state.

The body is in a landscape, and the landscape is in the body. Art becomes a potential embodiment of that universe where amor and psyche are in harmony.

Shamie’s open dialogue is with the model. The interchange is captured in dense, or fleeting imagery. Always the space becomes part of the definition of the overall work. Beauty captured in this way is more than just an embodiment of calm, of voluptuous or exotic celebration of the body. It is also about the fleeting nature of the human presence, for these works do not seek to document, or describe. We can feel how the spirit and psyche of each woman in the gestural free-form style. It’s caught in a moment in time and communicates emotion as of the artist’s hand and the lines it draws were a conduit to the face, to the body’s presence.

Some of these women are presented in an open, suggestive and ultimately simple way that recalls Matisse’s orientalist nudes from his Nice period. Still other drawings like Two in One, One in Two are like sublime tributes to a healthy relationship between men and women. That unity is captured through a simple flow of two bodily silhouettes that complement one another in mirror-like images, meeting above in a celebratory way. There is a flow of line in the drawings as if the artist were deciding each step of the way how the body will fit into space on paper. Drawing becomes a manifestation of some psychic flow between artist and model, or artist and subject, if it becomes landscapes, or floral study. This entire embodiment through ink, watercolor, pencil or charcoal is less about the spectacle of being, than an unpredictable celebration of the joy of life.

Whether sketches or line drawings or multi-media works on paper, Shamie’s drawings are eloquent experiments that communicate a certain wisdom through the simple naiveté of their conception. Emile Shamie never arrives at a conclusion, nor does he decide what his subject model actually is or could be. It’s all about the visual journey he is embarked on and for which his drawings bear witness to. Sometimes the sketches are not successful, and other times they sketch their way into truth. The visual journey is one that never ends, that is continuous.

The playful character of Shamie’s most free-form nudes reveals the way the artist thinks through the action of drawing. The spontaneity and intuitive character of these works, imbues them with an aura of love.

For their personification of the body, for the female gaze, the gesture, and vital ethereal and elemental presence Shamie’s ink wash, pencil or charcoal sketches becomes allegories for the most human aspect of each and every one of us. Often the sketches inspire large-scale paintings, and become a point of departure for the more in depth investigation of the human form in space. Sometimes the body itself becomes the landscape. Is the allegory to the physicality of all tactility? Or is Shamie just revealing the nature of human form in its disguise as a landscape? One such work captures a woman with her arms raised, her breasts standing firm and her eyes looking outwards. Black ink brush strokes animate the surrounding space immediately behind her, in a calligraphic way giving a sense of the moment.

As works of art on paper Emile Shamie’s are passionate expressions of a full range of human emotions from reflection to confidence, to passion, to tranquility. It is as if the artist were examining, studying and embracing everything he sees from a distance, the distance being the psyche’s dance with love. The body is in a landscape, and the landscape is in the body. Art becomes a potential embodiment of that universe where amor and psyche are in harmony.

– John K. Grande

Emile Shamie’s Visualized Worlds

Emile Shamie’s Visualized Worlds

In a high-tech age, Emile Shamie’s paintings are like a breath of fresh air. Inspired by music, by dance, and an intuitive sense, Emile Shamie envisions painting are actualizations of the gestural act of painting. While these paintings look surreal and otherworldly, they are in fact very much songs for the earth and of our place therein. Shamie’s process is largely unconscious. He makes no preliminary studies or sketches before embarking on a new tableau. Instead he follows his instinct, and discovers elements within a painting as he paints them into being. These paintings become reifications of experience. As viewers we bring our own experience to bear on Shamie’s art. Within we capture fragments of legends, of narrations, all suggestive of a larger story that recalls our own origins on the earth. The elements in each painting, whether the sensuous and beautiful women, the fish, the trees, imaginary landscape elements, build and condense into what could only be called spiritual and searching convergences. Harmony, colour, cadence, tonality and wandering lines all converge in a single composition. They communicate a sense of the human condition. A free expression of the human spirit Emile Shamie’s paintings do not catalogue, categorize, or codify. Instead this is the human spirit on a walk, moving through its invented universe. We see women whose backs are exposed, who become parts of mountains and indeed are the landscape. Other women are goddesses, or nymphs or Mother Earth herself. We see rivers and valleys and skies that are parts of an inner world, but a world we can all identity with.

There are shadows of the creation myth, the myth of the tree of life, of the Song of Solomon, if you look for them.

Shamie’s painterly stories move towards naiveté, rather than instruction. As Shamie states, “Whatever is realized in a painting travels through me. I am just the medium. I have no control over the process. I never know how my paintings will turn out. ” Heaven help the artist who seeks to dictate what art is. He or she would be lost forever! Shamie is not at all lost. He creates worlds that are in a state of flux and flow peopled by spirits and personages that are captured, but never entirely. Instead these embodiments of life’s energies exist as mercurial, ever changing testaments to our brief lives and the joy and exuberance of it all. Shamie celebrates life’s event. Who gave this painter wings? They came from a quiet place that exists miraculously in the private worlds we invent . Our imagination becomes the dowsing stick that brings us to discover hidden worlds. There is a beautiful movement like music, with a cadence. Our emotions follow the natural and very visual flow of line and colour, between the object and the surface. The body and the nature that surrounds are inseparable. The canvas is Shamie’s child. He brings each painting to life like a child, finding a place for each fragment of each larger picture he discovers. These paintings recall Wassily Kandinsky’s colourful abstractions and Oskar Kokoschka’s texture laden landscapes. Transformative, Emile Shamie transformative paintings are intimate exposes of the inner self. The soul is revealed as moving colour realized. Even the visualizations of these beautiful women, and landscapes are imaginary projections of inner worlds. Over time his paintings have opened up, and are less dense, compacted with imagery, a balance is achieved.

These paintings express something of the luxe, calme, volupte of Henri Matisse but the cadence is amateur, that of an inspired naïf. We discover inner worlds. We can enter into them. We can move through these experiences like time travellers. The tautologies of painterliness, and purist production that dominate the plague of professionalism and production in today’s art world are nowhere to be found in Emile Shamie’s art. Emile Shamie is a painter who loves life, pure and simple. His paintings express with honest simplicity, the joy that is life itself.

– John K Grande

Vernissage 2013 – Emile Shamie

Emile Shamie – Vernissage 2013

Born in Montreal, Shamie began drawing & painting at a very early age & continued his art studies even while establishing himself in business, in the world of Fashion. For many years Shamie attended Art classes & also had private lessons with some of Montreal’s finest instructors & painters.

For the last seven years, Shamie, having established himself in a studio, has devoted his full time to his art, studying, painting & drawing .He works with oils, acrylics, watercolors, India ink pen & brush, to express landscapes, florals, abstract & figurative creations. Shamie is prolific as an artist & his creations are distinguished by his strong sense of color & form. His fresh approach to his canvas has proved great success. His practised eye & restless energy have found an impressive outlet in his love of Nature & the Human body he creates with such assurance. His work continues to evolve as he explores different techniques & subjects. He uses his imagination & life experiences to create unique & inspiring pieces.

As a lover of music, dance & martial Arts, Shamie’s finely tuned sense of balance & control impart to his work an accessibility that establishes an immediate rapport with the viewer., Yet one can feel the total freedom & spirituality within the canvas.

Emile Shamie’s paintings & drawings are to be found in collections across Canada as well in the United States & Asia.


Montreal General Hospital Expo

Montreal General Hospital Expo

The auxiliary of the Montreal General Hospital’s annual Art Exhibition & Sale to benefit purchase of much sought after medical equipment.

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