Alain Boullard's Website

Artist Biography

Born in Paris in 1942, I have been surrounded by art from an early age. My great aunt Marie Antoinette Boullard Devé, was a painter around 1920 and her work was all over my grandparents' places.

I was fascinated by paintings at the Louvre and I can truly say that the old masters were my teachers.I spent hours as a teen looking at art either in books or in various French museums.

In France as in other European countries, one is surrounded by medieval ,Renaissance  and 17 century architecture and art.One cannot help being influenced by such beauty.

Later,as a teen, I discovered the modern artists:from the Impressionists to the contemporary movements. In fact, when I started painting seriously as a teen, I was producing abstract works.

When I entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1962, the art scene was very confusing. The art school was still teaching traditional values and techniques while the art galleries surrounding it were displaying a dizzying variety of art movements.

Abstract expressionism was in full bloom…I also remember watching Yves Klein performing in a small gallery,with some puzzlement.Two naked women were being coated in blue with a roller and impressed themselves on the walls while a classical group performed.

Later when I arrived in Montreal in 1965, new art movements were appearing in rapid succession, displacing one another in a matter of months. Confused and not seeing a clear path to follow, I nearly stopped painting except from some copies of masters. I opened a pottery studio with a friend. I felt reassured by pottery with its humble craft attitude. I felt grounded by clay. I also started experimenting with silk screen printing and posters.

After moving to Vancouver in 1969, I worked in commercial silkscreen studios, learning the craft and working in the silkscreen art departments. Later I worked in sign shops. I was attracted to graphic design and illustration..I entered the Vancouver School of Art around 1972 intending to study graphic design while working mornings in a silkscreen plant. Marriage and raising a family changed these plans.  My artistic production until 2004 was limited to quick watercolors during holidays.I also painted a few small oils. I am still working on one of them ,started in 1986 !

I opened my architectural illustration studio in 1974: it allowed me to experiment with many drawing and painting techniques (pen and ink, watercolour, airbrush, gouache and later computer renderings…) I also enjoyed the exposure to design and architecture.

Around 1980 I freelanced as a court artist for CBC , the Sun and the Province. I am quite proud of the fact that I supported my family for many years with a few pencils and brushes!

I discovered the Basic Inquiry figure drawing studio around 2005 and started drawing and painting figures again: I had already done so in 1960 and 1962 in art schools. I found Basic Inquiry a great place to develop skills and experiment with various techniques in a non judgmental setting. I really appreciate the serious, humble attitude of the members. Some have claimed that art is dead but these people did not get the message! Whatever the subjects that interest me: Portraits,compositions,figures, down on their luck humans, landscapes, I find that the abstract formal character of the painting is essential.

Semi retired from Architectural illustration, I plan to dedicate the rest of my life to painting .