Raised in the Laurentian Mountains, north of Montreal, Josette Couillard grew up surrounded by the arts. As a child she travelled with her father extensively throughout Canada. Her perception of the rich vastness of the Canadian landscape, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean was developed at this time. As her father would paint during their travels, a young Josette would take out her sketchpad and draw along.
As she began to paint, she quickly learned to take advantage of the vivid and vibrant colour she perceived in nature, highlighting the play of light and dark tones which sunlight or moonlight cast on each scene. The children that began to appear in her work were as lively as the landscapes themselves - their charm and innocence becoming a natural and integral part of her work.