Teaser of the cover of a soon to come notebook to be sold on my website. I can't wait to get this new product out! I love customised notebooks so much. And this one will be made just for you guys! Stay sharp, more info coming soon.
I am water. But a fiery one. I am undivided, but I am only what I discover of myself. I recreate routinely my oblivious person which I am perpetually trying to dodge. I create, or to be more exact: I put name on things I discover. But sometimes I have to burn the bridges that lure at me from the past. Sometimes I burn and destroy what I have discovered to make room in my self, to get rid of a light that blinds, to erase a name from my memory. Sometimes I am consumed by my own fire; fire teased too hard by the breath of my own aspiration, by the vacuum of my freedom. Don't let the children free, they will devour the world, and all will ended burnt to the ground. Pace the way for them, hold their hands, but do not let go before they have touched fire and claim their watery nature.
I have attempted to burn many things in my life. To make room for a freer future. To get rid of my demons. To celebrate my infancy. For the innocent pleasure to look at fire. For the guilty pleasure of breaking apart stuff. I have burnt so many paintings of mine. So many images that I had given a name to, that I had created.
It felt sensual, and agonising; like pumped by the electricity phased during a funeral or the separation of two partner beings. It felt overly warm, and can I still feel it on my cheeks and my torso. Do I regret it? Yes, I do. Would I do it again? Yes, I would.
During my third year of art study at GMIT Galway, I spend my time dismantling the object of fine-art painting. I wanted to reduce image to a pure vision of matter and accentuate the fact that fine-art paintings are physical objects subject to the effects of time and decay. I also denounced the fact that images nowadays are loosing of their physicality to become pure electronic impulses in a digitalised world thus becoming more and more images of themselves.
People too are becoming more and more images of themselves, because of social media and over population. And so we tend to forget, for we try to cover the fact up, that people also are physical beings subject to time and decay.
These were my thoughts when I built, rather than painted, this pieces and prepared my second solo show Head against the wall.
I would like to show you now some photographs and footages of the making of those pieces, followed by shots made at the gallery during the exhibition that took place in Galway during Spring 2012.
The making and showing of this work definitely felt as an accomplishment. I had bridged the mystery which stands between image and object. I had physically worked and made decisions to resolve questions that triggered me on a deep level, and managed to find answers good enough for me at the time. My intentions with this project were fulfilled.
But as life took its toll on me, along with my unease being in this art school, my old illusory demons continuing to pressure me from inside, my struggles to be in harmony with all the social aspects of life, all that pushed me to an edge, the edge of myself. If it wasn't for my partner, I would have foundered like a derelict vessel torned by a sea of disbelief. I had to shade a layer, something was to come off me. The pressure was intense.
It happened at the time that we had to move to another house, this one being taken over by the bank of our landlord. It was time to pack and pick what was coming with us or not. This collection of painting was too voluminous to possibly fit in our new place (an even smaller cottage in Connemara). So my temper being what it was at the time, I having this existential break-down, all fostered this need for a ritual to let it all go: I decided to burn all of those painting, and so I did.
I have no idea what you, the reader, can make out of that story. I hope this illustrates how obstinate and confident one has to be to reach to the edge of one's self and come back, if not stronger, at least alive and lighter.
With love , from the other side of your screen, on another edge of time, to you, here, now.
If you made it that far through this post, congratulation, and thank you! Your support is everything. And please, don't forget to leave a comment, I am eager to hear your reactions on the topic; also sharing on Facebook or anywhere you like always helps.
Have a good and commanding week ahead and see you next Sunday for... another episode of Trail of colour! Peace.
Hello dear reader.
I wanted last week to write a bigger article about me burning a large bunch of my past paintings in a ritualistic "never again", but that's going to be for another time. It is challenging me to post dense and valuable content on a weekly basis. So I'll keep this week's article short for once.
When I happen during my evenings to watch a TV show or a movie I am not exactly absorbed by, I pick up my mini A6 sketchbook and doodle away anything that comes to my mind. I can sometimes inspire myself from the movie I am watching but most of the time these are just improvised out of the blue.
As you can see, each of them is pretty different and could be the starting point of a completely unique story. These are just a few examples of a multitude of drawings that will stay in the dark only to entertain my dreams. But these "doodles" are more than time killers to me. They are bubbles of air when I am suffocating. They are the rope that holds me tight against gravity and fatigue. Any kind of little sketche, mark making, anything that gets me going is a building block toward making and keeping my practice consistent and alive.
For there is nothing scarier than a dry artistic block to me, as I know I will fill this emptiness with vanities that get a man to lose his senses.
So here you are: if you feel blue or isolated, if your blood runs scares and things are becoming tasteless, then doodle it! (Just don't Google it.) It will get you through.
That's it for today. I hope you found this little article helpful and I will see you again next Sunday for another episode of Trail of colour.
If you have enjoyed this article or if you are already a fan of the series Trail of colour, feel free to leave a comment, and share on Facebook by pressing the little button below. More exposure is all I need to get my work going and your support will always be most appreciated. Thanking you.
Peace and Regeneration to you all.
My father is my greatest inspiration. My father is also my best friend. That makes for a hard one to kill.
I have always balanced between my admiration for him, my desire to emulate his work, and my refusal to follow a well trodden path, my denial of my roots. But when one grows older, reaches independence and distances himself from the affection that blurs the mind, one can see links instead of chains. My father wasn't always an artist, but I'll always remember him as such. That's when he was twenty-nine years old that he decided to quit his job at the bank and became an illustrator. Over the years he also kept writing constantly. He wrote children books, plays and novels. He directed shows for theatre and circus. And he always painted with oil on large canvases. He is now focused on large scale paper acrylic works like this:
My dad changed name. Everyone calls him Clair. Clair Arthur. It is his artist name. He also had to break away from the enclosure he was born into. He never studies art. He learnt it all by himself, on the way. Never waited to be ready before giving it a go. Intention and dedication are what fueled his practice. But he would say that all was done only to escape boredom... and give a little hope to those around him.
Although I pay respect to his influence and the qualities it brought to my artistic palette, I always was torn by the better, which we say is the enemy of good. While taking my lessons from the folk art genre of my dad and want now to integrate it into something personal mixed with the influences of my own generation.
All that to say: I always wanted to take the flat figures represented by my father and make them look more 3D, give them more volume in a more atmospheric sense of space and distance. That is why I took upon myself to practice the sketching of a dummy. A little mannequin that I could put in various postures so to look at it from various angles and develop my understanding of the human form in space.
So is what I wanted to show you guys today. A little display of the studies I did of this little mannequin, shown more or less in a chronological order. But before that let me introduce you to the man himself, the one, the not so great, the plastic, the fantastic dummy.
Now I hope you can see a progression in my understanding of the form at my humble level. You will see that I got to use different approaches from direct drawing of what I thought I was seeing, a more constructive approach using blocking of shape as a first step, and also a simple gesture drawing of the lines of action. Enjoy the ride...
The next two are showing a little more creative use of the "man".
To finish I wanted to show you the sketch of a hermes I did last summer in the museum of the Louvre in Paris. It's funny how it reminds me of my dummy.
Sorry I cannot come up with the reference to this sculpture. For all I can remember it is French, and from the seventeenth century.
Now my friends, that is all for today. I hope you have enjoy this little trip in the land of dummies. Next week Trail of colour could certainly be about grief and offering as much as the contemporary trends of nowadays illustration... We shall see!
Since then, Peace and Regeneration to you all.
A quick update about my studies for the visual story Meanwhile I am working on at the moment. A story that follows Nature's return which you can preview in the Graphic Novel gallery. I plan to complete and release my first book Stories not to be told, in 2020. I hope you will be there to see that.
I had a style in mind for Meanwhile, something wild and sketchy. A way of drawing with colour that leaves plenty of room for the imagination of the viewer. This approach reminded me of Enki Bilal's work. So I decided to do a few studies of his images. Here is the selection of his work I made.
Enki Bilal is one of my old school favourite French comic artist. He is still around, doing stuff and never seems to age. He is all about love and fatality in a dystopian futuristic universe. The movie Blade Runner could be compared to Bilal's world.
Even though the themes Bilal explores have not much in common with the theme of my story, what I wanted to study here is the way Bilal draws with paint, mixing up his media, exploring movement in time and synchronicity.
I had enough time so far to study the first two images. Here is what I came up with:
My aim wasn't to reproduce the image to perfection, which would be very challenging considering how loose is his mark making made of very jazzy lines, a subdued limited palette and such a unique style. I was aiming at getting in Bilal's head regarding sequencing of layers, dynamics between composition and quality of mark making. I tried to emulate the process rather than the result, so I could take home with me something to use again in my projects.
I had more studies lined up for a more in depth research on Bilal's technique, but I will probably jump back to working on my story. I need to stay on schedule and cannot keep studying stuff around forever and never get to the point which is: getting something out there no matter what, no matter how, and refrain from too much preparation before getting things done.
That's it for today! Thanking you the reader for following the unravelling of my backstage stories. I hope you can take something for yourself out of this artistic srip-tease of mine.
Wishing you a Sunday just like you like them. See you next week for another episode of Trail of Colour where I will tell you everything about my love for a mannequin... Peace and regeneration.