What is the starting point for a painting?
There are two main elements in my process. First, the process is exploratory. I play with the materiality of the medium and the support. It's about exploration in series. I often begin inspired by a color combination or composition that has made an impression on me and that I want to explore, and then a dialogue begins where I respond to what I see. The paint is applied and removed, rubbed, poured. A game of texture where the one sought is perhaps what one will have drawn and then erased.
Sometimes I take an old work that has been preserved without expectation and I rework it by totally transforming it from a present element. I tend to muffle the colors, the figures, as if to lose more of the details that have not yet been lost in the process of pruning the composition, in the process of building and covering again and again. What the sketch evokes appeals to me, even if it comes after hours of work. The drawing will want to suggest rather than describe with precision. Only the details deemed essential will be allowed to persist.
Is this an exclusively intuitive process?
No. In fact, although the beginning of the creative process is intuitive, it pursues a specific result: a sober but poetic atmosphere, on the borderline between too clean and too dirty, a balancing act between soft and rough, between subtle and coarse - I like the process of creating marks by trying to find the ideal pressure and angle of the pencil or brush to match the delicacy and quality of the desired result. I may repeat a painting several times if I can't find that balance.
Where does the inspiration come from?
Everyday life in general! Everyday actions, everyday objects, everything that makes up our most routine days in fact. Also, I find a lot of my inspiration in the beauty of the handmade, the patched, and then in old places, objects and fabrics. I find a particularly touching beauty in the past, in transitions, in the meeting of the raw and the delicate, in what is incomplete or worn.
Abstract painting rubs shoulders with the figurative; linen canvases, Arches paper and then Kraft paper. What are the common elements in all these pieces?
My work is recognisable by the use of desaturated, washed-out, if not neutral colors - increasingly earthy - and then by its organic aspect and the impression of calm that emerges despite its sometimes chaotic and raw side. Sometimes fluorescent or saturated colors appear. The textures coexist, the brush marks are visible, the pencil lines. The result must show the process, the history of the work. The figurative practice allows one to continue to explore the same things as in the abstract, but it is above all here that the narrative aspect becomes important. The work wants to tell a story. The iconography used is chosen for its capacity to create emotion or its narrative potential - it evokes domestic scenes, everyday objects and rituals. The woman is present, still life, scenes evoking daily actions, nature, a certain melancholy, fatigue.
What are the ideal conditions to start working?
Although I certainly prefer to have long periods of time available, I must admit that it is difficult not to be disturbed with children! However, I take every available moment. If I am inspired by certain things, I don't think I should wait until I am particularly inspired to work. I don't wait for inspiration. Inspiration comes every other time I start working. The rest of the time I consider myself to be researching and practicing techniques, analyzing artists' work, thinking about what makes a composition work. That said, I try to think less and explore more with my hands, which is often where the answers come from.