He’s a man of many talents

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2015

People in the Brewton area have been complaining about the weather in the past few days. It’s hard for those who live in the south to put up with cold weather. Imagine then, how cold it must be in the far north in Canada.
Stephen Brissette was born in Quebec, Canada, and lived there for most of his life. In fact it was a Brewton girl that brought him to live in the south.
“About 17 years ago, I met a southern girl online, and over the next few months, we got to know each other pretty well before we even met,” he said. “Diane and I were married 15 years ago in July.”
His life was a lot different before he moving to Brewton. He grew up in a home with successful parents and one brother. English was not even his native language. He came from a part of Canada where the most common language is French.
“We spoke French at home, but my parents were smart,” he said. “They knew that it would be important for me to know the English language so I was also sent to English school.”
Living in Brewton doesn’t give him much of a chance to use his French background, but his English is flawless.
He seems to have found himself a home here in Brewton with his wife, Diane, who works in the district attorney’s office.
“I really do like living here,” he said.
Brissette has been a fixture in the Escambia County Clerk’s office for the past six years. He first worked in traffic court and then in civil court with the cases that come through the county each week. His office, with three employees, serves the public by handling small claims, divorces, child support and anything else that do not fit into the criminal division.
“When I first came to Brewton I worked at NDI for a while, and I loved it, but when they started to downsize, I went to work for James Taylor in the clerk’s court,” Brissette said.
“I spent about four years there and then moved into the civil division.”
It is not a well-known fact to many people, but Brissette is an excellent artist. He is modest about his art, but it is beautiful work.
“I have always been interested in drawing since I was a child,” he said. “I never had any formal training, but I was always drawing. As time went on, I put the drawing down, but about 10 years ago I started to get into it again.”
His artistic medium is charcoal, or pencil drawings. He mostly sticks to black and white, but has dabbled a little bit into color. Much of what he does is to study his subject from several angles and photographs help a lot with that. For instance, he pours over photos that show his subject from several angles, showing details that might never have been noticed before.
It is not an easy hobby to have, and Brissette said he spends a couple of hours each day on it when he is working on a drawing. A finished product will have maybe 40 hours in it when his work is completed. He is his harshest critic and is always striving for perfection.
“I see all my mistakes and I keep on improving and learning,” he said. “I see things that most people don’t and I want to keep on trying to make it just a little bit better.”
He has dabbled into a few art shows and has sold prints of many of his drawings. He said he would love to be able to spend more time with shows, but right now, a full time job and making a living is his main prerogative. He does do commission work and if anyone is interested, he would love to hear from you. His email is stephenbrisserte@yahoo.com.
“I can’t do it in a hurry,” he said. “I have to have the time to get it right, before turning it over to someone else.”

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