From the beginning of my childhood, I was encouraged to wander, explore, and create. That basic principle of discovering the unknown has led me on a journey of big mountain exploring consisting of skiing, climbing, ice climbing, hiking, and kayaking. I push every boundary and challenge myself constantly, both mentally and physically.
I love that my passions have arrived at a cycle. The world gives me snow and big mountains I can ski and summit, and in return I give the world my art. It is an invigorating exchange of energy that makes my life meaningful. One side of my work could not exist without the other. I am drawn by my passion to be in the mountains, away from everything, and to become a part of the environment. It’s a beautiful thing, to experience the mountains and valleys, and physically feel their toll on your body. It gives me an appreciation for life, and drives my creativity. I can come back from an excursion and sit and paint for a full day, excited and driven from my time away in the mountains.
I tend to paint the mountains I have become familiar with…the mountains I most recently summited. My goal is to bring together the unforgiving elements of the peaks and to also add an inviting feeling (the one I feel before summiting a peak). I want the viewer to feel welcomed when looking at my painting of a mountain or glacier, to be in awe of how majestic it is, and to be humbled of the real destination. I also paint as a way to remember the time I spent in that special place. I don’t tend to go back to the same places, and I don’t ever want to forget the peaks I have summited or the glaciers I have traversed. Painting those memories lets me remember, and be thankful for those times I spent there.
When I ski and when I paint, I am celebrating the human body and it’s connection with the surrounding world. I want to light a fire inside the viewer. A curiosity that cannot be contained, and that must be acted upon. If successful, I have promoted the great outdoors, and pushed someone to experience their own life in a new way.
I am not just a ski mountaineer or just a painter. I am both, and that makes me unique.
CloudLine ambassadors Justin and Patrice Lavigne live a life less ordinary. They are constantly doing what they love and that involves adventures like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2011, living in their van for months at a time, spending the summer guiding kids on outdoor adventures at summer camps, writing for Backpacker's Magazine, and in 2015 they thru-hiked New Zealand's long trail, Te Araroa.
Beginning May 1st, 2017 the Lavigne's will be hitting the road in their camper van to speak about their thru-hike of Te Araroa at 31 events across the country.