Brain Bright by Andre Lanthier

Brain Bright by Andre Lanthier

In my brain are my thoughts. I think to myself to feel good. I think about painting: it helps me with my thoughts and helps me relax. It’s therapy. I do something for my brain to get more ideas. I try to relax my thoughts and think something else instead; some days I feel right and some days I feel bad. Painting helps me a lot to feel good, distracting myself from my thoughts.

This painting is my brain in different colours matching different days, good and bad, and how my brain is always going. You can see my thoughts- some brighter. It’s my brain in different ways. As my brain gets brighter the paint gets brighter. The light comes brighter. Painting helps my brain.

About The Artist

Andre started attending H’Art Studio in September 2007. His disabilities include anxiety, depression and autism. He used to work part time but due to his disabilities he has been unable to work for some time. Andre has always watched “How to Paint” shows on television and was always intrigued and always dreamt of creating paintings himself. He had never tried before but the passion was clearly there. When he came for his intake interview he was very excited at the prospect of “learning” how to paint, expressing that he “wanted to paint or make something with his hands”. He was concerned about his anxiety and worried that he would be nervous in the studio with the other artists and staff. I asked him a few hours into his first day, if he was nervous and his response came in a beaming smile and a very clear no. When Andre paints it is as though he disappears into the work, completely engrossed and engaged. He takes breaths, resurfaces and grins ear to ear. He loves to paint landscapes, trees, mountains, skies, rivers and wildlife. His first painting in his first art show, “Full Moon”, was at the Green Door Restaurant in fall 2007. His painting of a tree of life was one of the first to sell. When he and his parents and brother arrived to see his painting, I don’t know if he was more disappointed or overjoyed that it had sold. He was ecstatic! Watching Andre paint and seeing his complete joy and passion, his sense of fulfillment, reaffirms that he is where he is meant to be. At the end of the day, Andre stands in front of his painting, his coat half way on, pointing out and talking about what he plans on doing next. He once said that he was awake all night thinking about what he was planning to do next on his piece. He has become an artist, or rather, he has discovered his artist and with that has discovered a passion, a language and self-expression. Andre, as an artist and a person embodies what H’Art of Ottawa is all about.

View more of Andre’s work at his H’Art of Ottawa page.

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