36 x 41cm
Miss Champ-de-Mars
14" x 16", acrylic, 2009

Johanne is one of the most wonderful individuals I have ever known. A former make-up artist for MAC Cosmetics, she exudes calmness and maturity that is very refreshing in today's stressful world. Johanne saw one of my Subway Series paintings at the time and told me that she would like to be in the Series. Of course, I hate when that happens because no matter how beautiful or unique a person is, it remains my decision whether a person appears in one of my paintings. Sometimes the inspiration comes from the most insignificant detail. In the end, I need that eureka moment.

Luckily, Johanne works in a very creative environment. One day, MAC Cosmetics was having a special event where all the make-up artists were dressed in black and wearing top hats. When I saw Johanne wearing her top hat, I had that eureka moment. The gals all looked good in the top hats, but Johanne seemed to stand out from all the rest. I think it was her short hair and slightly angular features that did it. I approached her and suggested a painting of her wearing the top hat. At first, she thought that I was joking, but when she saw that I was serious and excited about it, she immediately consulted her agenda to schedule a posing session. And there you have it. Damn, I love these moments!