Bruno Côté, "The Saguenay," 1996, oil on board, 36" x 42"
By Jill Sawyer
On a bank of the St. Lawrence River, the small bay of Cap-Aux-Oies borders on Les Eboulements, one of Quebec’s “beaux villages.” In the region of Charlevoix, it’s a pastoral landscape marked by rolling hills, stone farmhouses and sweeping views, and it’s also where Bruno Côté has chosen to paint for much of his 30-year career. The region north of Quebec City, where the heavy torrent of the Saguenay River empties into the St. Lawrence, has been recreated in scene after scene in Côté’s work. It’s a landscape familiar to many Quebecois painters, and Côté depicts it in bold, almost abstract strokes, letting the colours – the granite of the rock, the brilliant colours of autumn and the swirling blue-grey rivers – set the scene. A truly Canadian painter, Côté rarely works in his studio, instead preferring to capture Charlevoix first-hand. He works outside in everything but the worst weather, usually at dawn or dusk to capture the variable light at the start and end of the day. Côté is represented by LindaLando Fine Art in Vancouver, West End Gallery, Edmonton and Victoria, Assiniboia Gallery in Regina and Kensington Fine Art Gallery in Calgary, where a show of his work is set for this spring.