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Novel Arrangements: Art by Renée Duval

A painting of a bust formed out of leavesGoliath, oil on canvas

Montreal-based artist Renée Duval creates paintings that reflect on the power of natural forms. Renée’s paintings often take trees and flowers as their subjects, splitting and duplicating these subject into novel arrangements that suggest other meanings.

A painting of leaves formed into a faceMe Head, oil on canvas


It’s really interesting to see how Renée’s works have evolved since our previous feature of her kaleidoscopic nature paintings. In her recent series of 2017 paintings, the artist uses dense collections of leaves to form the shapes of sculpted busts. These heads and shoulders have only the barest suggestion of features, and yet still each has a strong sense of personality. The density of the figures renders them somehow imposing, an aesthetic which is emphasized by how much space they take up on the canvas, and the blank, blue gradient background as though the viewer is looking up at a figure seen against a dusk sky.

A screen capture of Renee Duval's artist websiteRenée’s art website,


I also really enjoy the works in Renée’s Gods and Monsters series – each painting in this gallery depicts a mythological figure as a tree. The artist’s sense of aesthetic and color language is spot-on, and each plant seems extremely animate.

A painting of a tree with pink flowersAphrodite, oil on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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