An exceptional artistic career

Born in an artistic family, Pierre Montgrain was raised in an environment in which music and painting were part of daily life. As early as the age of three, in addition to music, he displayed interest in drawing and colours. At ten, he secretly made use of his father’s oils to produce his first still life. It was at that moment that his father realized his potential and consented to reveal a part of the vast domain that is painting. At age 13 a meeting with the painter Stanley Cosgrove, a personal friend of Pierre’s father, had a profound, positive effect. Pierre’s obsession with painting and drawing would never leave him.


But first, it was in music that he would make his career. As a young boy he mastered, one after the other, all members of the recorder family. He then turned to the clarinet, which he played in his father’s fanfare for many years. But, it was the violin that always fascinated him.


At 18, as his parents had always forbade him to attend the Beaux-Arts school, “fearing that he would lose his soul”, he elected to audition on violin at the Conservatoire de Musique de Quebec. He was accepted and, within only seven years, made the outstanding achievement of earning the Premier Prix (First Prize) du Conservatoire. During all that period he maintained connections with students at the Beaux-Arts, where he regularly attended painting and drawing classes.


He decided to pursue his musical studies in Switzerland, where he was immediately accepted in world-renowned violinist and pedagogue Hansheinz Schneeberger’s Virtuosity class. Four years later he was awarded Switzerland’s highest distinction, the ‘’Virtuosity Diploma from the Musik Akademie’’ of Basle. It was during his musical studies, also under the guidance of his musical mentor, that he got the opportunity to study the major painting periods and their protagonists. Pierre also developed friendships with many art and graphic design students from the Hochschüle für Gestaltung und Kunst (University of Art and Design).



Upon returning to Quebec after his studies in Switzerland, Pierre and eight of his colleagues founded the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Rimouski (Music Conservatory of Quebec in Rimouski), where he taught violin for 32 years while pursuing a solo career.  In 1977 he founded another music school that now boasts more than 700 enrolled students. In 1993 Pierre and his wife founded the Orchestre symphonique de l’Estuaire (Estuary Symphonic Orchestra), in which he served as artistic director and conductor until 2005.


Despite his flourishing musical career, painting held an important role in his artistic life. Within this  time period he produced three solo exhibitions of approximately forty works, all of which were very well received.


It was in May/2005 that Pierre retired definitively from the musical world to dedicate all of his time to his childhood dream of painting and drawing. In 2006 he broadened his artistic tool-box to include dry pastel which he mastered to the point of creating his own very personal technique. He was ready to set an exhibition of his works in that medium as early as Fall 2006.


In February/2007, he enlists in the prestigious ‘’International Artist’’ magazine’s 39th annual competition, which welcomes thousands of artists from all over the world. His work, ‘’Miroitements’, was claimed as the sole pastel art figuring among the thirteen finalists and was published in the July/ 2007 issue of the magazine.


He was then invited to participate in the March/2008 edition of the DELRAY AFFAIR, (‘’The Greatest Arts, Crafts and Entertainment Street Festival’’ in Florida), considered as one of the 20 most important cultural events of South-East-USA. He came home with the first prize of his category, out of 600 participants.


In automn 2008, he was invited for a solo exhibition by the "GERSHWIN Foundation" of New York, which exposes some thirty of his paintings. He also participated during this period in various exhibitions in Quebec.


Second Grand Prize International Competition pastel Ogilvy in Montreal in 2009. Second Grand Prize International Competition pastel Pastel Painters of Maine in 2010. Honorable Mention in the National Painting Competition Automn Dreams 2010 in Baie St-Paul, Quebec. Finalist in The Landscape / Interior category of the Artist's Magazine 27th Annual Art Competition, Issue December 2010, a finalist in the International Contest pastel Ogilvy in Montreal in 2011, the 3rd prize winner in its category at the 83rd Grand National Exhibition 2011 in New York awarded by The Pastel Society of America and finalist at the 17th CIMP national exhibition in 2012, at which he was appointed by the signatory pastel Society of Eastern Canada. He was accepted as a member by "The American Artists Professional League" in New York in 2012. He won a prize for his painting "The gates of hell to the 18th edition of the international exhibition of ten PSEC in Montreal in 2013.






Artistic approach


Recognized by his peers internationally, a 3rd career continues with force to Pierre Montgrain ... .it elaborated on what he calls his "real education" since always self-taught and guided by an inner choice, it passes through his works the sensitivity, emotion and creativity that he developed during his musical life to convey that to emerge from nature, the brightness of its landscapes and its water games, ... .theme of predilection that fascinates and reflects the wonderful countryside of the region of residence, Bas-Saint-Laurent, while also drawing on memories of his many trips to Europe.


"I'm also looking good in the color work light than in the figurative form, to capture and share the emotions in the body paint. My emotions have no name or form in my painting, unless I give them life and nourishes me, it is they who lead me in my work. The bright and colorful background with which I prepare my canvas guide my inspiration. It calls a gesture which I think I can spend much of the spontaneity that seems necessary. For me it is a real language. The colors I use are chosen for their quality of transparency and brightness. I juxtapose them so that they interact together and they also do speak the lighter tones in order to obtain and maintain all the sweetness of this medium. "


Annie Levesque, Officer



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