Mike Valcourt

With nearly a dozen Winnipeg Murals to his credit, Mike Valcourt is getting his name out there, and often meets people who are enthusiastic about Winnipeg Murals and then singles out one of his own walls to praise, not even realizing that Mike is the artist! He is unabashedly proud of his work, and cites his nature scenes (460 Portage and 65 St. Anne's), as among his favorites. "I believe the nature scene is closer to pure art and I would like to see a lot more of it here in Winnipeg's Murals. I've long been inspired by Robert Bateman and that's who I tried to emulate as a kid when I was trying to paint. I look very closely at Bateman's work and see the techniques that he used and how he got to a certain place in the painting. It was through learning all of that that I learned how to paint myself: how to layer things; how to use quick brushstrokes just like an impressionist."

Mike is glad to see there are so many good artists in Winnipeg. He gets upset when he sees organizations that, according to him, don't take the time and effort to appreciate good artists and instead use painters without enough artistic talent to render a Mural. He is far more concerned about the quality than quantity of Winnipeg Murals: "It's finally happening where you've got some good artists painting great walls being adequately paid; it raises the standards of everyone in the Mural industry right down to the general public. They now look for THAT quality rather than a mediocre wall. Every artist in Winnipeg who gets to paint a Mural needs to take pride in his or her work. It's not just another paycheque; you're on a wall and you have to put part of yourself on that wall. It's your duty as an artist to stand out, take responsibility and be an example for the community. That wall is going to be a legacy that will be there for many years and hopefully inspire the next batch of Muralists."

In recent years, Valcourt has come to study and appreciate various aboriginal art forms. He's produced several pieces of framed art and has a tribute Mural in the making. He's tried building drums and some jewelry and is finding that he's enjoying it. Mike also enjoys playing guitar and making and writing music. He doesn't write lyrics, only the melody; and he leaves the vocals duties to others in his band. He collects comics and cards; and is also proficient in graphic design. He describes his style as classical rather than new age; it's a practical and original graphic design that is clean, clear and uncluttered.

In the past Mike has paid close attention to the smallest details in his pieces, but now he is spending a bit less energy in that direction and more time going after the total effect with his composition and how it looks from farther away. "I'm getting more experienced with blending, my colour theory and my composition. In the past I've considered myself weak in the composition area but I've been learning little tricks and gimmicks artists use to draw the eye through the piece. I'm getting more inventive that way and I tie everything together with the use of contrast. I'm definitely getting better with each Mural."

Contact Mike at mikevalcourt@yahoo.com

Visit his website at http://staticdesigns.weebly.com/index.html

Click
here to view Mike Valcourt's Winnipeg Murals.