The Red Fox, 2008
Working in meticulous detail, Champagne depicts scenes of Canada from coast to coast, pushing the capacity of this media to its absolute limit. A Premier Member of Pastel Society of Canada and a Master Pastelist, Champagne’s work most often depicts winter, as we see in these two works. Brilliant colour against blue-white snow, or snow falling on a wilderness scene, his mastery of this unique medium is apparent. With their buttery consistency, pastel sticks, both chalk and oil pastels, can be difficult to control, as they spread easily and move at the smallest touch. Champagne has thoroughly mastered them, using all the tricks of the pastel trade to create his works. The cloud of smoke puffing from the chimney in the shack in Getting Ready to Collect Fresh Sap is deftly handled, as are the gently falling flakes of snow in The Red Fox. Both works show us the versatility of mark-making possible with this media.