These Plates Were Made For Painting

We sat down with Jacqueline Poirier who always played with her food. Fast forward a few years, and replace the food with paint!  We asked, she shared. Here’s Jacqueline’s artsy story.

Growing up, I had an excellent childhood! I have 3 sisters and two brothers, so with 6 kids in my family I always had someone to hang out with and something to do! I played a lot of soccer, took piano lessons, snowboarded, traveled and painted a lot. I grew up in Mississauga, which is just outside of Toronto, and spent the weekends at my cottage in Collingwood. I went to an art school for the beginning half of high school, and then transferred to an all-girls private school. Then off to a boarding school about 3 hours north of Toronto! (some say I may have been a rebellious teenager :))

For as long as I can remember, I have always loved art. Earlier in life I always had a passion for drawing, and became increasingly more interested in painting as I entered high school. I took extra curricular classes to learn how to paint with oils and draw with pastels. My love for art runs deep, as my mother and great-grandmother are both artists too! It wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s that I started painting on plates. I started working at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto, as a server in the restaurant TOCA, and my manager was actually the one who suggested that I “decorate” some of the white charger plates that we had on each table. I started with just 4 plates, and immediately after painting them and putting them on the table, guests were asking where they could buy them and if they could get custom work done! The hotel quickly realized that this could be something special and asked me to paint the rest of the plates in the dining room. The plates have been an essential part of the hotel decor for nearly 6 years now, and since then I have started my own business painting custom plates for people all over the world!

Since starting my work as an artist painting on plates, I have become the Resident Artist at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. I was given the Notable Award for Arts & Culture, which recognizes entrepreneurs for their work in specialized fields. My work has been featured in various publications across Canada, including The Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, NOW Toronto, BlogTO, Metro, Flare, Chatelaine, Food Network Canada, and The One of a Kind Show. I have had the honor of travelling all over North America & Canada to share my story and teach painting classes to people interested in learning about my process.

The thing I love most about Canadian culture, is actually its multiculturalism and our love and acceptance of others. I appreciate the young history that as Canadians we have grown to love and appreciate, and the vibrant art we share sea to sea. I love being able to travel the world and by chance running into another Canadian and sharing that feeling like we are both from a “small town”. Canadians tend to be very polite and well empathetic and I pride myself on falling into this category! I also love that the Group of 7 is Canadian and have created some of the most beautiful paintings in art history.

Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities I have ever been in. The food and art scene is vibrant and ever changing, and I find that people of all ages and genders are interested in learning more about how to be involved in the community. I have held workshops for people of all types in Toronto, and classes both big and small. Even though Toronto is a large city, it still feels like a “small city’ in my eyes. People are always less than 6 degrees from separation, and each pocket of the city has a “community” vibe to it. Toronto will always be my home so I hold a special place for it in my heart!

P.S. I LOVE ART ATTACK! I watched it constantly as a child – I always wanted to create one of those giant murals that he would make out of random objects – maybe I’ll bring that back to life! lol. 


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You can follow Jacqueline Poirier and her amazing plate art on her Instagram @thecrazyplatelady

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