Fortunesee Sugar

Artist Statement

The miracle of life parallels the miracle of nature. They walk the same path. These are subjects I explore in my work: the unpredictability of life, the chaos, and the sublime beauty. I have been a painter for many years, always experimenting with and discovering new ways of expressing myself. As I work, I allow subconscious layers of memories to reveal themselves as they search for their own meaning. Applying thick layers of paint creates a visceral feel, earthy and instinctive. The colours are bold and freely expressed.

The same approach to the creation of my paintings has transferred to my jewelry designs. Thick layers of paint on canvas, are now multiple layers of specialized glass, kiln fused together at very high temperatures. As in abstract art, the finished glass art contains the same unpredictability and fresh approach. No two are alike. The process starts in chaos, but always ends in beauty.

The icy black background of these wearable ‘abstract’ art pieces reflects the boldness required by the wearer, to go against the banal, to send the viewer’s eyes spinning. Although worn around one’s neck, they can just as easily be framed on a wall.

The pieces are more than jewellery. They are art.


Raised in Montreal, artist Fortunée Shugar has spent a lifetime involved in the arts. With a love of visual art, Fortunée broadened her pursuit of artistic passions to other areas, from Haute Couture, to animation to commercial art, while raising her family.

Fortunée returned to formal schooling to complete her Honours Degree in Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa. This achievement later in life, has inspired her to grow in new directions and explore her artistic muse with great inventiveness and determination. Motivation, self-discipline, inquisitiveness and life experience have propelled her to search for novel ways to express her creativity.

While painting remains her primary focus, Fortunée’s artistry has moved in a new direction.  One can see a definite connection between the various phases of Fortunée’s creativity, and her latest branching out into custom designed, one-of-a-kind, fused glass jewelry.  There is extensive use of dichroic glass, which contains multiple micro-layers of semi-precious metals, giving it a particular transmitted colour and a completely different reflective colour.  The colours shift depending on the angle of view.

Fortunée has exhibited her work in solo and group shows in many galleries and other public spaces .  Her paintings are on display in private collections and institutions in Canada, the US, England, Israel and Sweden. Her new wearable art jewelry is represented in Ottawa, Perth and Stratford, and its uniqueness has commanded excitement from anyone who sees it.

The design and production of the covers of the book “A Common Thread”, an interview on CBC’s “All in a Day”, numerous newspaper articles and an extensive list of painting donations and commissions to a variety of causes, rounds out her resume.