Cassidy Breaux’s art reflects his Louisiana
Using figures and color, Cassidy Breaux captures the culture of South Louisiana in his artwork.
Born and raised in Morgan City, the inspiration for much of Breaux’s work comes from things seen in his daily life, particularly in the marshes of his hometown and the Cajun culture he grew up in.
“I’m from down here, and Louisiana landscapes are so unique and colorful,” Breaux said. “I try to capture that in my paintings when I go out on the marsh. You see so many different things, the way the light hits the grass, the water, the cypress trees, the instant I see that out there I try to bring that to life on the canvas.”
Breaux started painting as early as five years old when his mother enrolled him in oil painting lessons. He kept painting and drawing his entire life and attended LSU on an art scholarship in the mid-90’s where he graduated with a double BFA in graphic design and painting.
By day he works as a graphic designer, but at night he follows his creative spark and devotes his evenings to paint. Breaux’s medium of choice is specifically oil painting and wouldn’t trade them for other paints.
“I like the way oil feels, it blends better, it doesn’t dry right away so I can go back into it,” Breaux said. “I find acrylic looks kind of like I can peel it off right after it dries…I always found oils to be richer, just flows better.”
Using canvases and sometimes birch wood boards, Breaux captures the beauty of nature that’s permanently captured in his work. Often Breaux will go out into the marshes to fish, and he’ll bring his camera with him in case the sun is setting just right to capture a moment that he can paint later.
“I find it just helps out to capture while I’m out on the boat,” Breaux said. “It’s hard to paint while I’m out fishing, so I take my phone out and take a lot of photos, but I try not to copy photorealism really, I just use that as a basis.”
Breaux uses bold colors in his work so that it can be seen across from a room. He will sometimes use charcoal to create an initial sketch for his paintings and then finishes with oil paints. His art style has changed from being tighter in college and now consists of looser brushwork. This is to help keep work on hand when he must replenish his work sold in stores.
When creating a good composition, Breaux believes the keys are the piece needs to have balance and be interesting.
“It’s intriguing and has some depth with the figure to balance it out,” Breaux said. “It can be a simple composition, but I think it has to be interesting. [Composition] is the basis for a good painting.”
Audience response to his work has been overall positive, according to Breaux, who reflected on a time a woman bought two of his paintings for a nursing home in New Iberia.
“I think everyone sees it and knows I’m from South Louisiana and that I capture the culture with my artwork,” Breaux said. “I think a lot of people have a connection to that and respond to it very well.”
One of the series of works Breaux has done in the past was of his grandfather boiling crawfish on a spring day in Morgan City. Being close to his grandfather, he reflects on how his work can help bring him back to remembering those times, and why his ties are essential as a Louisiana artist.
“I think Louisiana is so unique in that aspect,” Breaux said. “I just try to capture that in my artwork, I think it’s a very colorful culture and really what my art is about.”
Photos by Sean Gasser