As an artist invited to the convention Art to Play 2012 in Nantes, France, I had to participate in the challenge named "Ma Bulle" ( My Bubble) where one had to produce a A4-sized drawing in which a blank space had been left for a potential face or character.
This one was inspired by the tale Princess and the Pea, with a little twist. I got the idea after Vanessa, who is posing here, who has a very fragile back, but who is able to fall asleep on whatever harsh surface she finds in the meantime.
See the full picture :
Princess and the pea
Link to vote on facebook: Link
It's an ancient project, that first hit my mind around 2005. The concept matured through a number of sketches and studies. My friend Jo came to the studio in Bordeaux in mid 2010 in order to model.
I gave my first brush stroke on the blank canvas on january 1st, 2011, at 00:00. I finished the painting and signed it on december 31st, around 9 PM. One year in the making, and finally there, standing on the easel, "No Doll"
It began really fast, I made the underpaint in a matter or 4 or 5 painting sessions, but now it's getting a bit slow with the fat paint layers, all the detailing and those sparse schedules. Sigh... But it's looking good still. I hope to finish it soon !
_je n'ai de compagnie plus chère que celle que je délaisse.
Le tableau avance doucement. Ce weekend j'ai travaillé sur les cheveux de Camille; je n'ai pas beaucoup l'habitude de ces tons, du rouge en général, mais me laisse séduire par les couleurs feu et le soyeux des flous. Je pose des gestes attentifs, faisant mille manières, pratiquement à l'écoute du bruissement du pinceau pour ne jamais risquer de troubler cette intimité autre. Je dois absolument céder la place du maître: c'est la vie dans ces veines, la soie de ce cou qui décident du geste.
I've been pondering whether I should buy a frame for Tears of Joy in the Garden of Giants, or make one myself. The question of which frame style to pick from must be taken seriously. I've been hesitating between a dark, baroque frame that would enhance the luminosity of the painting. Or, a heavy, rusty metallic frame that would respond to the reddish armatures of the garden's dome, and would be also consistent with the one I already built with my father for Below the Rust.
The picture above is a sample photographed at the framing shop tested against a print of the painting. The estimate I asked for said slightly more than 800€, which is quite an amount.*Sigh* ...
Today I've drawn the signature at the bottom of this painting, that I've been working on since january. I surely could have painted it much faster, but company's work got be too busy during the summer, and also, painting "No angel" was difficult because of the mood it conveyed.
Grey, humid, frontal and crude nakedness that was to be faced, plus the obvious religious reference _whereas I'm not a pious person_ made it hard to dive in on and on.
While getting to know myself better, I've grown confident with following my instincts, which is what help to keep it up with this piece. The initial flash that appeared to me in mind was so precise and strong this time, that I had no choice but release it onto a blank canvas immediately, even though I couldn't understand the meaning well at this point. Later on I realized how much the symbolism in it matched the life path I was about to walk.
That work was nothing but vain. An answer was thrown: there are no angels _ or divinities, or higher level of conscience_. The painting was supposed to depict this pessimistic, fatalistic viewpoint, while leaving a little space for the question to remain.
The life turns, that we sometimes call coincidences, have been mischievous with my disbelief !
Now I wonder. Maybe there are. Maybe it is this higher level of conscience, that we are all capable of because it lies within, and that we have no ways to master. Truth is we need them, for they lift us up.
And now. where are we?
It's a sketch for a painting I've been thinking of for some time. She's a doll, more like a puppet in fact, whose strings have been cut, and now she's walking into her freedom with her fragility and her loneliness, but with the will to find herself and make up for her own identity.
She has this victorian feel, with some melancholy in her eyes, giving the impression that she's from another century and has been kept hidden for a long time until she arrives in our days.
It is intended to be painted on a canvas that is 175cm in height and 80 in width, with a real life inspiration for the character; someone tiny enough to fit in at 1:1 scale.
What a life. Torn off, excessive, chaotic, unstable, and useless in many ways. Stuck within that mess of a brain I found it nearly impossible to start up a new painting.
Finally I saved a few hours of my saturday afternoon to sit down and doodle the layout for a painting to come. The subject matter is quite sarcastic towards myself, even though I don't want it to depict an introspective situation. I've been turning that in my head for a long time, with that fear of sounding misplaced, but gave up on auto-censoring. The fact is I am in an urgent need to paint, for mental sanity's sake.
Maybe I have some urgent concerns to expell.