Welcome to my Inner World. I am a French self-taught artist, and these past twenty 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
I know death is on the minds of many. It is the hardest thing to recover from the death of a loved one. It’s been nearly one year since my dog, Loki, died and there is not a day I don’t think of him and how much I miss him. Nearly one year of intense research on how to cope with the fact that he’s no longer a part of my life. Or is he really? The pain of the separation forces me to find other ways of meeting him. I’ve been very lucky to remember the dreams he’s in and there have been many of them. I am extremely thankful for that. But I needed to go further. I needed him to be constantly in my heart so I made him a little nest of love in the sacrosanct sanctuary of my heart. I know exactly how to get here – and here he is, looking at me with his beautiful amber eyes. Right here. No death, no sickness can reach us here. We cheated all of them.
I like to think there is a possibility we’re living our lives in reverse, which means we’re already “dead” – which is to say we’re not dead per se, what an awful finality, but we’re different, we are happy little phantoms. Can you imagine yourself as a happy little phantom? How do you feel? Your life is behind you but at the same time, you can visit it again at anytime, relive events, even change them (which in many cases would be highly advisable), but at the same time, you can’t tell your unknowing self about future events because you can’t be sure things will unfold the same way. Your revisiting of every moment has a huge impact on your existence. You brought with you insights you didn’t have the first time (and maybe all the other times too), you know how every little moment matters, how futile is fear of death and how irrelevant is what others think of you. You are totally free. Free from the fear of death, too. You’ve been there, saw the movie, bought the tee-shirt and you know better than to live in fear of vanishing. Although you can vanish, you’re a ghost after all. But you have the gift of travelling where it pleases you, to any realm. The ultimate freedom. So, with this reverse perspective on life, it becomes so much easier to live without any pressure, nor any feelings of alienation. The worst has already happened but you get to revisit your life so that the best can happen again, with more improvements each time.
I think it’s easy to entrap oneself in a disincarnate life, our happy phantom billions of light years away. We become zombies, living automatically, accordingly to what other people think is the proper way to be. This happy phantom is our little soul, sailing simultaneously over several seas because there is nothing it can’t tackle with the utmost grace. When the spirit is free from fear and limitations, it just beams with joy and anticipation… Can you feel its light?
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:
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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.