A native of France, Virginie Baude has always loved wild animals, especially the large ones of the North. She imagined them as she was reading Jack London’s books as a child. She began drawing these animals early on and her talent was noticed by her teachers and close ones.
Instead of taking the art route, Virginie received a Master’s Degree from the University of Montpellier in France where she studied wildlife biology and learned more about animals’ behaviors and ecology.
After graduation she wanted to see in person the wildlife she had been dreaming of while growing up and studying in books. She flew to the American West and started her first wildlife encounters while in Yellowstone National Park. She later worked in Denali National Park in Alaska and in the Canadian Rockies, taking every opportunity to explore this immense wilderness, photographing the mountains and the wildlife during backpacking and dog sledding expeditions.
As a self-taught artist, Virginie began using charcoals and acrylic paints to depict vast wilderness landscapes and wild animals such as moose, caribou, Dall sheep, grizzly bears and wolves.
She now paints with oils, and it has been a love affair since then. She appreciates the spontaneity and freedom the medium leaves her.
Her work is contemporary, fresh, made of abstract shapes, impastos and is impressionistic. She is interested in textures, the study of colors and light and always tries to capture the true essence of the wild animals. She uses a palette knife, which has become her favorite tool, to create the look of thick fur, giving her subject more life and intensity.
She had the privilege to study with Greg Beecham at a 2010 photography and painting workshop in Montana and at the Scottsdale Artist School in 2011. She also reviews literature to study different styles and techniques and finds inspiration in the work of other artists she admires, including Bob Kuhn, James Reynolds, Thomas Quinn and Oleg Stavrowsky.
My passion is to create images that convey the intensity and spirit of the wild and to inspire the viewer to preserve all that is natural, wild and free. I want my paintings not only to tell a story, but mostly create something visual. I prefer painting abstract backgrounds so there is more room for imagination. The colors are enough to set the mood and details are not necessary in my opinion to lead on to a story. They would get in the way and limit the subject to just that one background he is painted in. The viewer is now in an emotional state and can make up his own mind on where the subject is.I paint wild animals but have the greatest admiration for the wolf because to me it represents the symbol of a wild world. Wolf has forever been misunderstood and managed to survive even though it was hunted, poached and killed throughout the northern hemisphere