Virtual gallery for exhibit “The Woman on the Towel” by Lucille Proulx
In person gallery in the Grand Hall @ McTavish, 1720 McTavish Road North, Saanich, BC for her 90th Birthday Exhibition
January 8 – March 8, 2022
THE WOMAN ON THE TOWEL. 2021
My ambition (and it can be overwhelming) is to create works of art that are
linked to a memory and purpose for me which fosters meaning beyond the
colourful and decorative. I want to create art that transcends the visible.
I strive to use the gifts of my life; my Indigenous ancestors, my energy, my
skills and knowledge, my most private experiences, my progeny to bestow
a legacy that will be important in some small way.
This is my story which in 2021 is told through the story of The Woman on
The Woman on the Towel is a visual autobiography that speaks to the
spontaneity of my art as life’s longing for itself. The early images that I have
included in this exhibition show the process, how my inner woman speaks
to me, and how she appears when I least expect it:
Blueberry Pickers, 1959, Oil on Canvas, photocopy print
My first painting was created at the Memorial University of Newfoundland,
in an art course after my traumatic birthing experience. This art course was
my impetus to continue painting.
Becoming, 1983. Chalk on black poster paper
I fell in love with art and psychology. “I lost my head” to begin self-
understanding, it was my impetus to becoming an art therapist.
The Toiler, 1985. Acrylic on craft paper
Created in my art course at Ottawa U. She shows the back breaking work
it took to allow me to begin University at 50 years old which allowed me
Mes Mères, 1985, Pencil on paper-scrap
A quick spontaneous sketch of mothers and pregnancy, which represents
36 years of my life as a childbearing woman, and I loved every minute.
Les Bébés Les Limbes 1985, Acrylic on Sheet-Metal, Giclée Print.
This represents me and my many pregnancies, I did not lose a baby, this
one represents all those in limbo, since they died without being baptised
and I still wonder about that superstition.
The Woman on The Towel, 2020 Charcoal on a faded towel
The Woman appeared in late September 2020 when I decided to paint my
rock garden. After sketching it in charcoal, I did not like the results. I wiped
my canvas clean with this old, faded garden towel. The next morning, I
picked up the towel and I saw the image of a woman.
I immediately started to sketch her on my wiped canvas. It was a slow
process, as I did not understand this woman, I also did not understand my
resistance to creating her, to painting her.
In November I moved my canvas into my studio to work on it. The work
was slowed down because of the Christmas season. In January 2021, I
was diagnosed with breast cancer. In February 2021, I underwent surgery
for a mastectomy. In March 2021, while I recuperated, I continued working
on the canvas image.
I asked myself, “why did she come now?”
“What does she really look like?”
“Who is she?”
“Is she my ancestor, my mother, or myself?”
“Did she come to see me through this life and death trauma?”
“What is it about me that I am hiding?”
“Is she announcing a longer life, or a soon to happen death?”
“Is she the muse of art bringing me the strength to heal?”
This exhibition is the result of exploring myself, my life, and my health
through my creativity and art skills; collage, found objects, acrylic,
watercolour, tempera, oil paint, Giclee prints, and writing.
The woman always came to me with the same message, one of hope and
energy. Therefore, I decided to call this the Art Saves—Art Heals series.
In Thailand, I asked a potter to create the tiles that you see on each of