Extreme Makeover Kindness edition -Sponsor Spotlight – Matt Leblanc


As you know, myself and a few other Ottawa designers have been working on Extreme Makeover – Kindness Edition.  This charity event is sponsored by United Way and the Yummy Mummies Club.   The lucky recipient of this makeover is the Good Companions Center in Ottawa, Ontario.

We were tasked with redoing the entryway and the lobby to bring it from institutional to warm and inviting.    Since most of the designers on this project also have a blog, we thought we would each feature the wonderful sponsors who donated their time, labour and/or products to ensure a fabulously finished space.

So this Sponsor Spotlight post is shone on Matt Leblanc – Artist Extraordinaire!

Matt lives in Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada.  He has been a creative person all his life and worked for many years at an advertising agency.  However, he only started offering his work to the public four years ago and he has been busy ever since.  He sells to individuals, (in fact, I have one of his beautiful pieces), businesses and interior designers across North America as well as overseas.

Matt’s ability to design a unique piece of artwork based on his client’s decor has been instrumental in developing his strong brand as an artist.  The piece that he has donated to Good Companions Center was customized to the space and is a main focal point.

Here’s the before….
And the after!

                Lisa Goulet Design

Danielle Lynn Photography

Matt has devoted much of his time and energy, not to mention his artwork to various charities and fundraisers.  Matt’s older sister, Madeleine LeBlanc was only five when she succumbed to cancer.  But 38 years later, her spirit inspired Matt to create 200 paintings in 6 months, with the ambitious goal of raising $25,0000 for the Tree of Hope Campaign (an annual event of the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont Hospital Foundation in Moncton).   He called his campaign, Art for Life, which achieved this amazing goal.  And then, at the Gala to celebrate his success, with some extra effort, Matt was able to bring the amount to $38,000.

Here’s some photos of Matt’s artwork from the Art for Life campaign:

Matt has some words of wisdom about purchasing custom artwork for your home.

1.  Choosing the correct artwork for your space.

“My clients often ask me what type of artwork should go in a certain room.  I always toss the question back to them and add a few more questions about the mood they want to set in the room.  Artwork can either be jarring to the eye and bring some energy or put the perfect touch on the room by complementing your current décor.    The choice becomes yours.  Artwork should always lift the mood of the room and a lot of time it can become the center piece that determines the entire feeling of your living space.   When I meet with clients, my goal is to determine three basic things:
1)  The size of the artwork
2)  The style which will set the mood
3)  The colors

That’s the hardest part of the job.  The rest is just creativity !!!”

2.  Should the artwork match the decor?

“I always say that my clients have to cover three things when they buy my artwork;  the size, the style and the color of their new piece.  The first two are normally the easy ones.  The colors on the other hand, make everyone nervous.   Some people stress too much about colors.  The number one question I get from clients is whether or not they should buy a piece of art to match their décor.  It seems that the simple answer would be yes but in fact, I recommend that it doesn’t. Before you panic, let me explain.
It’s good to bring in a color to match one of your accent colors in the room but I always recommend to try not to be too “matchy matchy” when it comes to choosing art.  Over time your decorating tastes will change which means that the art you choose won’t match your room anymore.  Typically you buy art for a long time so make sure that you love the piece as opposed to love that it matches your room.
You do want to make sure that the painting doesn’t totally clash with everything else that is in the room.  Art is no different from furniture and accessories.  You have to step back and ask yourself if it complements your setting.  If it looks really odd like a brand new white modern leather couch in a country room filled with wooden roosters, well then it’s probably not the right piece of art for that room.”

3.  The Inspiration behind the Art

“Every artist obviously has different ways to create art.  Techniques, feelings, emotions & experience all play a role in the finished product. Painting Abstract or Modern Art is just plain fun.
I’m not the type of artist who will take a walk and get instantly inspired by something I see.  For me, it’s more the mood I’m in and the emotions I feel when I’m in front of the canvas.
My inspiration comes from: 
1. colours
2. emotions
3. music
Music’s rhythm and tempo have a big influence on my work.  I love big canvases and I love to paint with big brushes.  I’m not the best at painting small details so that’s probably why I don’t paint portraits.  I find that music can influence the quality and speed with which I apply my large paintbrush or palette knife to the canvas.  How I apply the acrylic paint will be reflected in the end result.
When creating an abstract painting, I think about three elements which are the basis of all my artwork:
  1. shapes
  2. forms
  3. colors
For some reason, I’m a big fan of “lines”. I have many line patterns in my artwork.  It might come from my love of geometry.  I love shapes and forms and how objects are created.  I try to bring some squares, circles, lines and other shapes to my work without letting them affect the overall abstract style.  At the end of the day, abstract is considered apart from concrete existence so very often I hide those elements inside my work.”
So if you are looking for some beautiful artwork or just want to be inspired, please check out Matt Leblanc’s website by clicking on his logo below.
My fellow decorators who also generously donated their time and who are also bloggers have also written about this makeover. Please click on their links on my side bar to read more about our fabulous sponsors.

Ottawa Extreme Makeover – Kindness Edition

I am thrilled to be taking part in Extreme Makeover – Kindness Edition.  This initiative was put together by the Yummy Mummy Club to coincide with their Winterlude Getaway and they have partnered up with the United Way.  The lucky recipient is the Good Companions Center on Albert Street in Ottawa.

Sonya Kinkade of Sonya Kinkade Design was asked to head up this makeover and she in turn asked some fellow decorators to give her a hand.

Here we are at one of our meetings to discuss paint colours, layout and furniture options.  And the most important and time consuming piece of the puzzle, asking for donations of product, labour and time.
Sonya Kinkade – Sonya Kinkade Design
Maureen Coates – Modecor
Kelly James – Jax Decor
Mary Anne van Gaal – Otta Decorate!
Nicole Duguay – Solace Interiors
Donna Hargrove – dh designs
Lisa Goulet – Lisa Goulet Designs

So we’ll be busy, busy little bees getting all the items in place for the BIG REVEAL happening on Saturday.

We have had absolutely great supporters who have donated their time, labour and products to complete this makeover.  They are:

D.E. Kinkade Konstruction Ltd. – all labour and materials
Michelle VandenBosch – Permanent Petals – all floral arrangements
Matt Leblanc – Matt Leblanc Art – custom art work
The Upper Room – Furniture
Floor Coverings International – area rug for reception
Kravet Fabrics – fabric for window treatment, pillows & bench seat
Brent Kelly Painting – all painting (613-229-8665)
Danielle Lynn Photography – all photography for event
Rockland Textiles – foam for bench seat
Tamarack Developments – all paint
To find out more click on Ottawa at home’s website.   I will be shining the spotlight on several of these sponsors in the next while, as will my fellow decorators, so stay tuned.
So if you are in the Ottawa area, drop by for the BIG REVEAL happening this Saturday, February 19th from 10:30-12:00!  The Good Companions Center is located at 670 Albert Street, Ottawa.


Extreme Makeover – Kindness Edition

I have some exciting news to share – Sonya Kinkade Design has asked me to be part of a crew of designers that will be making over The Good Companions Centre in downtown Ottawa.  This charity initiative is a joint venture of the United Way and the Yummy Mummy’s Club.

It will be completed in time for Kindness Week – Feb 20, 2011.  We are in the process of finalizing the design and lining up donations of labour and products. We plan to do it all in a few hours using our volunteers.  This will include construction, painting and furnishings, and it will all take place over a week. Using a time-lapsed camera it will be photographed and placed on the Yummy Mummy Club website shortly after completion, where all participants will be featured on their blog.

The other fabulous decorators and designers that make up the rest of the crew are Maureen Coates – Modecor, Kelly James – Jax Decor, Donna Hargrove – dh Designs, Nicole Duguay – Solace Interiors and Mary Anne van Gaal – Ottadecorate.

If you would be willing to donate any products please contact me.

Stay tuned for more details!