Like many artists, Vivianne Gaudet knows her passion isn’t contributing to her pension, which is why she works a full time job during the day. But at night you can find her pursuing her real calling, which is producing incredible art.
Originally hailing from Chelmsford, a small town north of Sudbury, Gaudet moved to Ottawa in 2007. Despite always having an interest in art, she never really did anything more than quick sketches until about four years ago. One fateful day she went out, bought a canvas, a couple of brushes, some acrylic paint and quickly created her first piece. On a whim she posted a picture of the painting to social media and shortly afterwards received an offer to purchase it. For her, it was as if a light went on and since then she’s managed to turn her painting into something more than just a hobby.
Gaudet’s work was first noticed by members of R-Nation when she posted a painting of Redblacks QB Henry Burris on Twitter. He noticed it, retweeted it and things took off from there. Gaudet says that the reaction to her Redblacks stuff has been phenomenal. One player in particular, DL Moton Hopkins, showed significant interest in her work on Instagram, so Gaudet chose to feature him in her next piece.
Interestingly, it’s not just players and casual fans who appreciate her work, as one player’s family has secretly contacted her to commission a piece based on a picture of their son. Gaudet can’t reveal who the player is though because the family wants to surprise their son with the painting as a gift when it’s done.
Though Gaudet is a die-hard Southsider (often found sitting in Section U, V or W), she admits the Redblacks weren’t the first CFL team to catch her eye. In the past she lived in Toronto and used to take in Argo and Ticat games but confirms that “Now that I live in Ottawa, the Redblacks are definitely my team”.
Despite much of her current work featuring the Redblacks, Gaudet is not a one trick pony. She’s painted everything from pets, to children, to flowers, to tattoo sketches and even once spent 40 hours recreating Picasso’s famous “Guernica” piece. As for sports, she’s been painting logos of clients’ favourite teams for years and in the future intends to do a series on the Atlantic Schooners, the CFL’s unofficial (and non-existent) 10th team.