Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past seventeen years I have made Norway my home. Moving to the Lofoten islands was the greatest present I ever made to myself and the Arctic landscapes are indeed a true treat for any artist’s eyes. I live with my British soulmate,… Continue Reading
It’s been around -12 degrees Celsius for many days now. Cold means clear sky and it’s been so magical to see a glowing red sun peeping over the horizon these last days. We’re slowly evolving out of the Polar Night. I had to shorten the walks a bit because the temperature is probably too low for my little Pap. She doesn’t show any sign of freezing because we’re always on the move but we’d best be cautious. I’ve been working on my Oracle, already 9 cards finished! As much as I would like showing them, I have to refrain from doing so because this is confidential work. It might be published, you see. I’m having a cosy time. I like the round format of the cards, it’s interesting, composition wise. Also, the small format obliges me to strip the composition to the essentials. I have to keep the cards simple, too many details wouldn’t show on the printed version. It was a bit frustrating at first, but then I got the joy of finishing one painting in more or less 24 hours, which is absolutely new to me, since every painting takes a minimum of 3-4 weeks. That’s if I don’t do ceramics or felting in between. Sometimes, I feel it’s too long… But on the other hand, some things take time to be told. My paintings would be really, really different if I had spent only three days on them. Being patient is always rewarding. You can’t go very far in life without patience.That’s something many people don’t realise when they tell me I have talent. My talent is made exclusively of passion, nothing else. With practice come skills (and NOT the other way around!). But all this passion would lead to nothing if I didn’t have patience. And the only way of remaining patient is through pleasure. Because patience without fun is just… duty. You don’t want to paint dutifully. Although you could if you were masochistic enough, that would lead to a sort of frozen, lifeless perfection. People around you would admire your technique and wished they could paint like this – not for the fun (because there isn’t any), but to be admired. This emphasis on perfection saddens me. I believe many people renounce their right to express their creativity because they want to do it for the wrong reason in the first place: to impress others. Remember when you were a child and you drew and thought every drawing was good enough to be given as a present to the person of your choice? Unfortunately, not everyone can appreciate what goes into a creation, it’s not a crime, it just is. But this is not a good reason to ditch and feel contempt for something that didn’t seem to be good enough for others. It’s not that it was not good enough. It’s just that people aren’t receptive. You are receptive to what comes out of you, or if you’re not, then you should be. Be your best friend. Make yourself dream. Buy coloured papers, scissors and glue, doodle madly with colored pencils and JUST HAVE FUN!
What can be done with colored paper sheets and a pair of scissors:
I dreamed a girl came for dinner and during the meal, I found out she knew an old friend of mine who acted weird (from nice and very close she suddenly rejected me in a very crass way). I said to her “Ah! At last perhaps you could tell me what went wrong? I know she was not psychotic, but I would so very much like to understand”. She looked at me a while and then started to talk in long riddles, with sentences and images that didn’t make any sense. I actually had the feeling that only this fake friend could understand what it was about. So it seemed that the only option was to give up understanding. Then the girl took me out and we walked here and there. She showed me all sort of soils. There was an area where the soil was shaped in a multitude of ponds surrounded by long grass. A father was bathing there with his son and I really felt like entering the water. In another place, the soil had been dug around a huge tree in the shape of a circle along with a circular bench so people could sit around the tree. The girl said “let me show you something very special and rare”. She pointed at a vein of soil, it was darker than the other soils. She said “this one is very rich. It is compact, full of possibilities, highly concentrated in nutrients, all kind of things grow in it, but also very unusual things. But you can’t tame it into a garden, it’s totally wild, it goes where it pleases. Running across the world. Free”. I looked at the vein which was as dark as a chocolate truffle and the beautiful wild flowers growing on it, and said “oh… that’s my kind of soil!”. She looked at me with a little smile and said “yes”.
Traduction Française ici
These days, I’ve been insidiously bothered by my total lack of sales. This is nothing new, except usually I’m not bothered so much. Also, I’m in a transition period and money is very scarce. I’ve been wondering about the meaning of my art in this world, especially when it speaks only to very few. Very, very few. I think I know why: too many details, not enough people, or if there are any, the picture doesn’t focus on them because, you see, I’m more interested in showing that everything is connected, the background is as important as the foreground. This is what matters to Soul, the plurality, the plenty and the subtle mystery (hence my nocturnal atmospheres). I will never give up on this approach for the sake of mainstream art. Because I don’t paint to sell. I don’t even paint for people. Not even friends. I paint for the Otherworld. Its Queen and its people. The dragons, the goblins, the witches. I paint for those who are totally, madly in love with the beauty of Nature and these precious moments of peace and grace. They see beyond and are very wise in their own ways. They help me to capture these beautiful visions, these soulful moments. Every time I paint, they’re by my side, guiding my steps, teaching me. I feel blessed. And so grateful. This doesn’t bring me any kind of reward in this world, but it brings me joy!
So… to go back to this insidious feeling which has been nagging me lately, I’d like to write for once and for all: I’d rather be a (well-treated) slave to Soul than a (mistreated) slave to people’s expectations of what art should be.
I have a confession to make. I just can’t let people who don’t like my art remain in my circle. I can’t. Because I feel deep inside that if they don’t like it, then they don’t really like me. I had a discussion about it with a dear friend, who is also an artist and whose wonderful work I admire. We both felt it was perhaps wrong, but we can’t help it. I don’t expect my friends to become fans of my work, or promote any post on this blog. But I expect something supportive, appreciative. My art is not a passion for bowling on a Saturday evening, my art is my life, my soul, and my personal relationship to what’s beyond. I totally believe in what I do. Therefore, I’m curious about what my friends devote their lives to and, even if it might not be my cup of tea, I always make a point of encouraging them in their own direction, simply because it makes them happy. They’re fulfilling a dream, expressing what’s deep inside themselves. So… if you cross my path for a long period of time and manage the feat of never acknowledging the fact that 70% of my time is devoted to my art, then you’re missing a huge chunk of what makes me ME. Unless, of course, you are not interested in me, you only want an audience of supportive people. Who doesn’t? You will get my support, good luck on your own path, I only wish you the most satisfying accomplishments, although our potential friendship won’t be one of them. Life’s definitely too short to bother with people… who don’t bother. I suspect jealousy is one important factor in the collective shunning of one person. Rivalry, competition… these words that make the world a cold, cold place. A place full of “ugly stepsisters and mean mothers-in-law” whose sly denial of other people’s qualities is meant to undermine on an unconscious level. Although the shunning is not always unconscious.
If you’re surrounded by persons who don’t bother with being good friends, then don’t bother. At all. Because if you keep on bothering, you’re sending two signals. First, it’s ok to lower my expectations and be content with just pretending I’m no one special. Second, it’s ok to treat me like that. Oscar Wilde said: “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”. If there’s one special thing that is the core of your life but nevertheless keeps being swept under the carpet for convenience’s sake, then it can only lead to further disappointment. Do a favour to yourself and get rid of these people.