Artist aims to put smiles on faces

Arts & Entertainment Community COVID-19 Featured Shine On

In these dark days of uncertainty, a local artist is making it her mission to share a bright ray of sunshine.

And it’s going straight to the inboxes of all of her email contacts — all 400 of them.

Jaye Ouellette lives in Arisaig with her husband and two dogs. Every week until the chaos surrounding the COVID-19 crisis is over, she will be sharing one of her photographs in an effort to brighten their day.

“I’ve realized in the last few weeks that I have been isolating for years,” she says. “Being an artist is usually a solitary pursuit. In my case I am lucky enough to live directly on the Northumberland Strait; my nearest neighbour is a half-hour walk away and the closest town is a 20-minute drive.”

But even her remote location hasn’t kept the darkness away. And she wants to change that. “There’s all kinds of things on the news and I think people are growing weary … and it’s only the beginning. So I just thought with all of the doom and gloom I could share a little cheer, like a little gift to people.”

She sighs, “I feel sincerely blessed to live where I do. Every day I am surrounded by beauty… I can see and hear the waves of the ocean. I live in such an amazingly beautiful place and I love taking photographs of it, so I just want to share where I live.”

In an effort to share some of the beauty of her world with others, she is sending one of her photographs — which she normally sells on her website — to put a smile on the faces of others.

Most people know the visual artist for her paintings moreso than her photography, but both can be enjoyed on her website http://www.jaye.ca.

The photos are being sent via email in high resolution so they can be printed at home or there are plenty of places online that will print photographs and delivery them right to your door.

Response to her project has been incredibly positive.

“People have said, ‘Oh, that really gave me a lift today.’ And that’s exactly why I did it.”

She is equally thrilled that some people have reciprocated the gesture.

“One person sent me photograph of the ice hotel in Quebec where he stayed and another person, who has a place in Scotland, sent a photo of a cherry tree that’s in bloom. It was just spectacular.”

Ouellette’s project of keeping people connected to the beauty around them has gone full circle.

“I love looking at photographs and art and beautiful things. If people look, there’s a little bit of magic every day.”

Above is a photograph Ouellette took a a couple of weeks ago literally from her front porch.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our world will changed for the better when we get to the other side of ‘this’? Oh, I hope for that so much!”