Since I can remember, I have always been drawn to visual art, storytelling and music.
I have always had strong and dedicated mentors and teachers in music and the arts. My high school art teacher once described me as a "creative force of nature". A phrase that still describes me perfectly to this day.
In the realm of visual art, my specialty is experimental watercolour painting. I swing between styles, achieving my own brand of realism and abstract expressionism.
In the realm of music, I am a melodic pop and alternative vocalist. I am a rigid perfectionist in my vocal styling, landing the same note the same way, every time.
My lyrical and songwriting style is best described as mysterious and thought-provoking. The subjects I sing about are emotional, honest and real. Reality is what you make of it and you are free to your own interpretation and your own imagination.
In both worlds of art and music, I am drawn to real stories, creating visual and audio impact to accentuate the subject. I enjoy collaborating with other musicians and artists as well as working solo. I love playing with colour and harmony.
I released a collection of paintings called "Tuscany, Land and Sky". These were a collection of works that were inspired by a trip I took to Italy in 2017.
These works were an experiment with colour and form. Each piece was based on a real place I visited. I was particularly drawn to the triangular shapes, colours and light of the vistas we saw.
The trip was my first impression of these Italian landscapes. I deliberately simplified each landscape into a harmonized and designed composition. Similar to when drawing a floor plan and placing furniture from an overhead view. These square paintings had several experimental elements in play, including use of light, gradation, contrasting colours and playing with variations of combinations of compositions.
I used the Jean Dobie primary palette of colours to achieve these results, adhering to her advice on using "mouse" colours and incorporating them whenever I could. The results are warm and pastels, with muted tones against light...memories and representations of the impressions that Tuscany left on me.
I have just released a calendar of workshops events and creative retreats. Registration is now open, see the Classes and Workshops section of this website for more information.
I am collaborating on a number of works with a nature photographer in northern Ontario. We are working on a story book of wildlife, to be released in spring of 2020.
I will be returning to University in the fall to pursue my BFA at York U.
Biographical Timeline With Additional Details
In my mid-late teenage years, I picked up the guitar, started writing songs and I was hooked. I felt that I had to choose between visual art and music to follow a career path. At that time, I focused on and pursued a professional career in music.
I attended the University of Ottawa, majoring in Sociology, while learning how to play the guitar and write songs.
For me, music, songwriting and visual art are intertwined, deeply connected and inseparable.
I have been researching and exploring this theme of "The Connection Between Art and Music", since the early 90's, when I produced a radio show on CIUT 89.5FM called Visual Voice. The program focused on exploring the connection between visual art and music.
During that time, I had the great pleasure of interviewing numerous local and international artists. I had on-air conversations and attended press events with musicians who were visual artists. I also spoke with visual artists who were musicians. Notable guests and appearances included artists such as like Floria Sigismondi, George Callahan and Yoko Ono, to name a few.
I started performing at open stages as the lead singer and songwriter in my pop/folk/roots duo called Likewater.
Likewater released an album in 2004 called "Weightless". We received favourable media reviews, CBC and college radio play. We also performed at Mariposa Folk Festival and NXNE.
We mostly toured around Ontario, but other music business projects eventually led me to travel and perform across Canada and around the world.
Likewater grew into a band form with bass and drums and we started to build a fan base with a monthly residency at a downtown venue called C'est What. At the same time, I operated a popular weekly music open stage called Groovy Mondays at Holy Joe's and later at the Now Lounge.
Over six years, we performed weekly and honed our craft, writing new songs and testing them out in a friendly environment.
We featured both local and international artists on our stage. We also recorded a live compilation album which includes rare live tracks from local artists. (Some of whom are now famous!) The CD helped raise money for an arts organization called ArtsCan Circle, founded by Mike Stevens and Estelle Klein.
I started to develop a strong interest in the business side of music. I worked with Richard Flohil & Associates (Publicity Firm) for a few months while he helped me get my own PR company off the ground, called (SPEAK Music). My goal was to learn how to help artists get the exposure and business opportunities needed to succeed financially.
It was around the same time when I was offered a teaching job at the Seneca College Independent Music Production Program, teaching marketing and publicity to up and coming independent musicians.
A few years later, I started a separate music project with Ian North, my songwriting mentor at the time and now my husband. I helped Executive Produce and release his album and I joined him on a cross-Canada promotional tour, singing harmonies. I also managed his European tour, publicity and distribution.
I eventually realized that I if I really wanted to be successful in business, that I would need to go back to school. I decided that I wanted to focus on finance and small business.
I got married in June 2007 and started using the last name North in my business and accounting career. My artist name has always remained "Claveau".
My schooling took me away from music for a while to pursue an education and career in accounting. Yes...you read that right...accounting. During my accounting career, I learned how to successfully manage finances for clients and in my own business and personal life. I started North Accounting Services, which later became Umbrella Bookkeeping Solutions Inc.
During that time, I was still creating. I attended art courses and studied watercolours every chance I could get. I have taken countless independent study and online courses as well as workshops with other local watercolour artists.
One of the main insights I gained during my university radio days is that art, storytelling and music connections are deeply personal and individual. It is most often subconscious and not something most artists even think about. They come to this in their own way naturally. Many artists use one medium to inspire another. I know that I do this myself.
I no longer perform musically, but I still create soundscapes with my voice and limited instrumentation, which I hope to put together with my visual content in the future.
I continue to explore this connection and I'm building my watercolour portfolio through a wide range of courses, before I start a Visual Arts degree program at York University this fall.
This website will be updated regularly, please visit my blog for the latest updates and thanks for reading.
"My business is to paint what I see, not what I know is there."
(J. M. W. Turner)
PO Box 61011 Eglinton/Dufferin RO M6E 5B2