About me

It's me! Photogenic yes?

It’s me! Photogenic no?

My name is Naisi LeBaron and I don’t much like talking (or writing!) about myself. I would much rather paint. Or collect and/or sell antiques.

Best to let someone else do the talking and writing for me. Who better than my talented daughter Sarah LeBaron von Baeyer (she takes after her mother after all) to sing my praises?

This is what Sarah (thanks Sarah ;)) wrote as an introduction to my coffee-table book Lemonade & Gossip:

Naisi LeBaron, the fourth of five children, was raised in the picturesque Eastern Townships region of Quebec.

Little Naisi
Her family, French Huguenots by way of Plymouth, Massachusetts, pioneered the settlement of the North Hatley area in the 1700s.

As a child, Naisi roamed the summer countryside, built pirate rafts on Lake Massawippi, dug up wildflowers in the hills, and skied and skated to her heart’s content in winter.

Pirate Naisi

As an anglophone Protestant growing up in the primarily French Catholic province of Québec, she was deeply fascinated with nuns and everything that happened “behind the walls” of local convents. Many of the playful and spirited scenes captured in her paintings are rooted in her fascination with convent life and her early observations of Eastern Townships’ society and culture.

As a teenager, Naisi worked for her aunt Emily LeBaron, an antique dealer who also taught stenciling, painting, and pottery. Under Emily’s influence, Naisi fell in love with antiques,  which she delighted in reviving with a little “TLC.”

Naisi later graduated from McGill University with a degree in education; having received only minimal formal training in the arts. She was much further down life’s road when she found her way to painting — by a somewhat circuitous route!

After teaching in Montréal, Quebec, and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, for several years, Naisi returned to her hometown of North Hatley in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. In 1984, she opened The Pomegranate Boutique as a venue to sell crafts made by women from the Canadian Maritimes. She soon discovered, however, that her customers seemed more drawn to the antique furniture on which she displayed the crafts than they were to the crafts themselves.

This realization, combined with the decision to join a stenciling class taught by her Aunt Emily’s former pupil, Janet Gail, led Naisi to start painting and stenciling everything in sight: from tables and chairs to cabinets, boxes, and mirrors, all of which found their way into The Pomegranate for sale.

Impressed with Naisi’s artistic skills, one of her client’s commissioned Naisi to decoratively paint several pieces of furniture. Enchanted by the scenes she created, her client then asked her to produce a painting. Never having seen herself as an “artist,” Naisi was reluctant, but while she resisted, her client persisted, and eventually convinced her to take the commission. The rest, as the cliche goes, is history.

More commissions followed, and Naisi’s artistic confidence bloomed along with her whimsical renderings of village life, her satirical observations of world events, and her folksy representations of people, places and special events. Past and present, political and humorous, she embraced her talent as artist and storyteller.

Nasi’s dots-of-oil-and-coats-of-varnish tales record the characters and characteristics of the Eastern Townships as well as her perspective on the wider world. A guild member and teacher of the principles of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration (HSEAD), she  chronicles life through stenciling and painting.

For many years, The Piggery Theater featured one of her paintings on its annual posters. She has been selected to participate in the Concours International d’art naif at the Galerie Jeaninine Blais and has also displayed her art at the Musee de la civilization in Québec City.

Naisi held her first so solo show in 1985. Since then, her biannual exhibitions (usually held at the Bibliotheque North Hatley Library) have become highly anticipated events at which her work completely sells out within hours of show openings.

Naisi lives in North Hatley and runs Pomegranate Antiques with the help of her  patient husband Pierre. She has two children, Alexander and Sarah, and a pint-sized poodle named Grizzley (She paints better than she spells). Besides painting and running Pomegranate Antiques, she also teaches stenciling in the fall and winter.

Well said Sarah!

Naisi LeBaron

May 2013

4 Responses to “About me”

  1. Hi! Merry Christmas wonderful finding you! Have been thinking about you a lot lately, wondering so many things if you were still working your store? painting?
    So wonderful to see that you are doing well and so successfully!
    Would love to come and visit, perhaps springtime, it’s been a very long time!
    I am back in Oakville until April after being in BC, Alberta, Oxford England, I still talk with Kevin LePape almost every month, emails mostly! Have managed somehow to do some painting as you may see if you look at my website. All the best to you and Pierre,
    Deborah and my Little West Highland White Terrier Sweet Pea xo

  2. Cathy says:

    Many years ago you had 2 paintings in your shop titled, “….and the Saintly Wife”. Sorry, can’t remember the full title but I hope you know to which I am referring. One of my regrets in life is not buying them both when I had the opportunity. My husband and I still talk about them! Being an Anglican priest and having taken many funerals, he saw truth and humour them.

    • Naisi LeBaron says:

      Thanks Cathy. My name is Susan and I created this website for Naisi, who is a bit of a Luddite – her word not mine! She says she remembers the paintings and is delighted you took such pleasure in them. She says thanks for the comment and I say next time buy fast and save on regrets LOL! Thanks for visiting the site and for your comments. All the best, Susan, friend of Naisi :)

  3. Michael Litvack says:

    My wife and I wandered into your crowded antique shop, after fighting our way through the crowded barn. I got discouraged as I just couldn’t see anything, clearly.

    Next was the big house, which came as an easier look. I like to find things, and when storekeepers ask what I want, I merely shrug, and reply, “I’ll know it when I see it”.

    Snoopy, the soft vinyl squeak toy, caught my attention, and after a few words, I bought it. I then showed the owner behind the counter, a few of my toys on my camera. By some fluke, the discussion turned to painting, specifically naive, as it always does when I lead the conversation.

    “Oh, I also paint a little…here are 2 of my books”, was her reply.

    At that point I realized how good she was: and that I had fallen amongst the really talented artists of Quebec. When I read later about the Cape Breton connection, my mind swept up all the images of Maud Lewis, and her style, and of Grandma Moses.

    It was a real delight to meet up on Saturday, and I remarked to my wife that we must come back to North Hatley in the spring, to visit again, and to explore. What a delight!

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