ARISAIG: Artist Jaye Ouellette says living close to the sea provided her with her current muse.

Ouellette moved to Arisaig 13 years ago but has been an artist for most of her life. She’s been working on paintings of the sea for the last six years.

“We lived in Toronto for 20 years and then we moved here,” she said.

“Living on the ocean, it’s compelling. I couldn’t not paint it, although if somebody had predicted I was going to do that, I would have said ‘no way, that is never going to happen.’”

Ouellette works from photos she takes as the ocean changes so quickly, going from calm to rough in a matter of moments.

“It’s light, it’s the colour, and the movement,” she said.

“It’s really interesting for me.”

One of her works was part of the “Terroir: A Nova Scotia Survey” exhibition at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax from June 25, 2016 to January 15, 2017. She was one of 28 artists and one of eight painters in the province to take part after receiving a call for submissions.

Ouellette works almost every day, with her larger paintings taking almost four months to put together. At the moment, she has commissions booked until November.

“Some days, it’s just like any job really,” she says of her work. “It’s not just the painting part. I have to run my Web site, I have to promote myself. There is a business part of it.

“A lot of people don’t like that idea but if you’re going to be a successful artist, you have to treat it like a business,” she added, describing herself as fortunate.

For more on Ouellette and her work, check out: jaye.ca.

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Antigonish native Matt Draper has been a photographer, reporter and columnist for The Reporter since 2003.