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
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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.
There are two domains in my life which are essential for my well being, and they are Soul and Instinct. I see this world saturated with Spirit and its vindictive commandments infusing every spirituality, even shamanism, which is originally a religion of the Soul. We think we’re being wise and enlightened and on the good path of spiritual awakening, but we’re just enslaved by Spirit. Spirit is all about good morality and the duty of love. Love will heal everything. No, it won’t. Instinct knows that. Everything which preaches unrealistic goals, unconditional compassion, forgiveness is fueled by Super Ego, but he goes under the guise of Spirit so as to not awaken suspicions. You don’t have to love, you don’t have to forgive. You don’t even have to be nice. Stop inflicting this upon yourself. What feels forced and goes against instinct leads to real damage, to yourself but also to others who could learn a great deal from a few rebukes. And the irony of this teaching about having to love and be selfless is that it emanates from Super Ego! See the twist?
The mere suggestion of “spiritual evolution” is a scam. Be wary of anyone asking you to sacrifice your ego. Ego is a healthy pig, ego could actually be quite funny and entertaining if it was not getting above itself with all the pretentious dogma Super Ego whispers in his ear. Ego is honest and ridiculous. Super Ego is twisted and manipulative. Super Ego is a bully. There, I said it.
Now that we’ve got Super Ego unmasked and out of the picture, do you feel the freedom? Do you feel that you’ve become a real monster without this supreme authority telling you how to be a “better” person? Nope. You might feel a bit wicked but it doesn’t mean you would actually act upon it. Super Ego would more likely push you to go to some extreme just to escape the enslavement of having to be nice.
So, here you are, free from the dos and don’ts. You don’t have to be nice. You don’t even have to be politically correct. You can apply logic, use your common sense, discriminate positively, listen to your instincts, add a bit of tolerance for good measure but without extending the kindness too far. And then, you will also probably love. The right kind of love, mind you. Not the “look how nice I am” kind. The one that sends warm shivers through your body. Because if the body doesn’t feel it, then, it’s all “in the head”, there’s no emotion – at which point, you might ask yourself whether it’s love at all, more likely just a painted benevolent smile. Who do you fool?
But enough about Super Ego. And let’s not talk about love. Love is a mystery, a miracle, not something that can arise on command. Ever. Love is.
Now what I would love to write about is the greatly forgotten, greatly neglected, greatly underrated: Soul. I could copy and paste one of C.G. Jung’s or James Hillman’s quotes about Soul but I won’t. Feel free to look up these great writers yourselves. I want to give you my own definition, I want to explain what is Soul for me. Soul is enchantment. It is totally invisible but it has you in its power. You look at a landscape with the eyes of reason and it doesn’t affect you in any way, but look again with Soul in mind and behold! Everything starts shimmering and vibrating and you become exhilarated, totally in awe. When you let go of what you expect to see, you open yourself to the enchantment of Soul.
Lately, I’ve watched Cinderella, I believe it’s a Disney movie. I was not so fond of the “be kind and brave” imperative because life’s many different situations can’t be answered with just one line of conduct, that’s totally absurd. Although many people in the grip of Super Ego would like you to believe they can. But one sentence caught my attention at the end of the movie. The narrator said “she saw life, not as it is, but as it could be”. It’s the kind of sentence you could interpret in a million ways. Personally, I thought “what? is Life not good enough, you have to imagine it in a different way?”. Life is not a bitch. There is absolutely nothing personal behind all the miseries which befall us. To think otherwise leads to paranoia. Life tries its very, very best. Always. When death happens, it means life doesn’t have any other option. This is terribly sad but that’s the limit we have to deal with. Meanwhile, I believe Life’s impulses originate in the Other World. Life lives on on two different planes. The first plane is a Dreamworld which pours all kind of potentials into this one. Can you imagine this? If you can, you can see with Soul. These two worlds are not at odds with each other. They dance together, like the threads on a woven cloth, in and out, in and out… If you dismiss the Dreamworld in favour of this one, the whole fabric unravels down to nothing, just a void. A soulless world. This Dreamworld embodies what could be, it doesn’t mean that “it is” in a realistic sense, but on some level it is, it lives, it vibrates and it enchants you. Soul is the bigger picture. We see some trees lit by the sun, Soul has a better story: the trees bathe in the setting sun’s golden light, and I’m holding my breath because I can feel a thousand things I’d like to put into words or painting, or music or I could just hug you, just as well. But not everything needs to be told, Soul can be quite content just infusing your whole being with a sense of delight and mystery. If you really insist, you might discover many things in these golden-lit trees, you might even spot a Firebird or imagine Baba Yaga’s hut beyond them. Soul might even provide a soundtrack, Many people would see this as pointless. But what do these people know? When one favours a soulless reality, one cannot be happy. And happiness, is it not in the end what it’s all about? What makes you happy is the only right thing, unless it harms innocent people. Someone happy, even selfishly happy (well, we can’t share everything, can we?) is an inspiration for others. Unless people totally miss the point and become just jealous. But in the end, it’s their loss. Just don’t waste your time with them.
Now… what do you see? You see what could be. You know perfectly well it’s all here, in the Dreamworld, ready to flow into the world with its magical undercurrents. Forget yourself an instant or what you think you are, widen your eyes… what do you see?
I’ve been working on this mosaic for five months. I took my time, also because I didn’t want to finish it too soon, since this was a way for me to process my bottomless sadness over having lost Loki, my beloved dog. Today, I am still tearful when I think about how much I miss him. As I write this, tears are rolling down my cheeks. But I know we will be together again. This is my message to him as I light his candle. I wanted this little picture on the left to be appeasing, ethereal, but instead, it looks like a party is going on, like at a fairground, only in the beyond. There is something almost gypsy-like about it. Death, loss… and merriment.
I’m so grateful I got to see Loki again a number of times in my dreams and I will surely see him many times more until the final dream, the one we don’t wake up from, and I will follow him on the gypsy fairground in between the caravans and all the good smells.
Here is the mosaic, waiting to be printed and put on my wall:
I will now go into the details.
This pictures my home in The Beyond .
This is Loki with my Soulmate:
Loki and me:
Loki taking the journey to the Goblins’ Realm:
Loki and I in our domain, the wilderness. I represented the goddess of Lofoten in the mountain, she’s a giantess. I dreamed of her a few times.
A close-up of our dance:
Loki, the Green Dog:
Loki on a frosty morning with Morozko, Father Frost:
Loki and I jumping over streams (we were always synchronised):
Loki and Lucy. They met twice in my dreams:
Loki in my own Soul Boat. Our adventures together continue..