Eloise Brodeur: Seeking Understanding Through Cows

E. Brodeur -- 2017-best-friends

Eloise Brodeur, “Best Friends” (2017)

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The cow as a principal subject of painting may seem an odd choice.  But Montreal artist, Eloise Brodeur, has elevated the bovine creature to a sort of muse.   By painting images of her cows against a stark background of a single color, Brodeur suggests to her viewers that there is communion to be had between creatures and people and that perspective should cause us to reflect on our individual and collective lives.

From my own experience, cows seem to be naturally curious creatures, even if they are often skittish around strangers.  Brodeur seems to capture that sense of curiosity and sensitive feeling in her images.

More of Brodeur’s intriguing work can bee seen on her artist site or at the site for Galerie Got Montreal, which represents her work.

Eloise Brodeur, “Just Another Ordinary Day” (2013)

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Eloise Brodeur, “Candy” (2015)

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Eloise Brodeur, “Cherries and Memories” (2016)

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Eloise Brodeur, “Bisou” (2017)

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Eloise Brodeur, “Vote For Me” (2011)

Image Credits: Eloise Brodeur

42 responses

  1. As someone who grew up in the self-proclaimed dairy center of the world (Enosburg Falls, Vermont), I was immediately drawn to these paintings. The bovines crowned king and queen of June Dairy Day, Maple Mabel and Jake the Steak, would have loved to have had formal portraits done to commemorate the occasion.

  2. A friend of my wife, a really talented painter, painted this amazing picture of a cow. The cow emits a sense of true sadness for some reason. It is an amazing painting … and, as you indicated in your introduction, she can’t find a buyer for it!

  3. I agree, very comforting in mood, as Lynette already observed — but these works also make me think of two other eminent Canadian artists who did work featuring cows: Joe Fafard’s cow sculptures that comprise “The Pasture,” TD Centre; and at least one painting by Paul-Emile Borduas, “Untitled (Cows on a Hillside),” in the AGO permanent collection, though to my eye some of his black/white abstracts make me think of Holstein cows!

  4. Oh such wonderful works…delightful and fun…love the colours and funny thing is the other day I told a friend I’d like to photograph cows…all the little babies are here now too ☺️💫 have a fun day Brett ~ smiles Hedy

  5. I’m intrigued by this: “By painting images of her cows against a stark background of a single color, Brodeur suggests to her viewers that there is communion to be had between creatures and people and that perspective should cause us to reflect on our individual and collective lives.” Do you have insight into the artist’s thoughts, or is this just where your mind went when viewing the paintings. What I see is a love for both cows and the beauty of negative space, which is accentuated by the use of a solid background color. Beautiful paintings.

    • David, I like your take on this. I drew my comment in part from my own observations and Brodeur’s artist statement on her website. The focus on the animals without any competing subject matter or images prompts thoughts about the creatures themselves as beings with thoughts and internal lives, the same as us. That’s at least one way to consider it.

      • “Whenever an animal returns my gaze I become silent. Time seems to expand and the space around me to brighten. In this moment of silence there is a sort of crossing over: the creature seems to know me better than I know myself. It shows me a new part of who I am.” Now I see. I love this.

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