About Luc Martineau

On August 30, 2021, I retired from the bench. I was appointed to the Federal Court on January 25, 2002. This summer, I signed my last judgment, with my heart a little heavier. It was a strange feeling… But the artist in me – I have been painting for more than 35 years – wants to take off! What a joy to begin this new journey!
Do we define ourselves by our actions, our education, our family, our profession, our beliefs, our passions, or all of these at once? I surely lack an academic background in visual arts. I am, first and foremost, a jurist who had a career as a lawyer, mediator and arbitrator before becoming a federal judge. Today, by identifying as an artist, I am taking a leap of faith. What a “beau risque”!

I was born in the Eastern Townships in the mid-fifties. I come from a family where the legal profession is a natural path. If the law was in my DNA, the arts were also part of my family’s genetic baggage.

My paternal grandmother (née Lucienne Lemieux) began to paint in her late years. She would become the “Grandma Moses of the Pontiac Country” (The Ottawa Journal, Saturday, August 7, 1965, p. 20), gaining notoriety as a landscape, portrait, genre and religious painter (David Karel, Dictionnaire des artistes de langue française en Amérique du Nord, Musée du Québec, presses de l’Université Laval, 1992.)

As a child, I used to write short poems, I drew a lot, and I even created comic strips .In the eighties, after having dabbled in watercolour and pastel, I started oil painting. In 2002, following my appointment to the Federal Court, the family moved to Ottawa. Judging is a weighty responsibility. Painting became therapeutic and liberating!
Around 2005, I converted to acrylic, which has since become my preferred medium. My gesture has grown in magnitude and confidence. Simultaneously, my production has not ceased to diversify. My paintings are luminous and shimmering, expressionist, dreamlike, abstract… I came to think that there is more to life than the law.
Now it is time to look forward. Who will be the artist of tomorrow? I don’t know. Even if I have not entirely left drawing, today I see myself more as a colourist who experiments with shapes. Movement, like wind, is also very important. If it is in abstract expressionism that I recognize myself, I feel equally comfortable with a form of figurative dreaming that also inspires me. It depends on the day and mood of the moment. Let’s go for an adventure!