21 Over 31 | Francois Chartier

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

After working for 30 years in the advertising world as a commercial artist, Francois Chartier decided it was time for something different. At 50, with no formal art education, he entered the fine-art world full time.

An avid scuba diver, Chartier says he is naturally drawn to water as subject matter. “Paintings of people underwater are similar to the type of intricate things I used to do with reflection imagery in advertising,” he says. In LIZA 1 he asked a friend to pose for him in a pool so he could take photographs. He was involved in every stage of the “production,” even down to the choice of the bathing suit for his model.

The Canadian-based artist explains that because of his training in advertising, he is always trying to make things look nicer than they really are. “I like bright colors and images that wake you up in the morning,” he says. Chartier is represented by Whitfield Gallery, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and www.francoisc.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Over 31″ feature in November 2009