For me, the magic of painting starts right from the beginning. I feel excited and alive when preparing a new project, grateful when able to buy lavish supplies and maybe more happy to choose a frame for a finished painting than a dress for myself. But more than all this, I feel present while wielding the brush, more “in the moment” than at any other occasion. Even if of course there are frustrating episodes, they are more than made up for by the instants of pure, exhilarating joy, making me want to sing and dance during the process.
A painting is a concentrated piece of time, of lively energy, of the most human essence. Even when looking at a 500-year old painting, you can sense some of this energy. That is what makes viewing originals such a unique experience, as opposed to looking at reproductions.
Feeling at home in the realist school, I love to depict what I can see, even if I take some liberties with my subjects. I love people, animals and nature. I love to observe the magical effects of light and want to become still better at rendering it in paint. I love how certain colors seem to be so fond of each other, reinforcing their mutual brilliance when joined on the canvas.
What I love I want to paint, it is that easy. Beauty, joy and sometimes a bit of fun, but also empathy with my subject’s feelings are the things I would like to share through my paintings, preferring to comfort rather than to distress my viewers.
HOW I GOT THERE
It actually took me quite a while to assert myself as a painter, almost 3 decades, to be precise.
After a first 2-year initiation to the art of drawing while a teenager still in school, life had other plans with me after my baccalauréat at the French Lycée in Munich. I went to Paris, where I studied drama for several years, worked as a journalist and a photographer, even having a short interlude as an accessory designer, before returning to Munich 13 years later.
There I met my French husband to be, with whom we established a successful PR business, representing chic French niche brands for almost 20 years. At the same time, I published my photographs in various magazines and 5 books, one about beauty and 4 garden books.
Although I had always loved to do things with my hands, it was the happiness I felt when my son was born in 1998, which allowed me to finally start to paint again. At first self-taught, from 2006 onwards, I went on to take as many workshops as I could possibly afford. This is the downside of being a late bloomer – you really have to find the time as well as the funds for pursuing your passion, which is not easy at all.
Having a family and working full time made these occasions even more precious. When not taking classes or working by myself, I went to see every art museum I possibly could (way over 150 in the past 20 years), both at home and during every journey I made and read hundreds of books related to art, technique and art history.
I tried out a lot of different paints and mediums and learned how to frame and hang artworks.
Everything seemed to start falling into place, but then my husband fell ill and passed away two years later. During (and even a long time after) this difficult period, I was mostly unable to paint. Now I am all the more grateful for every moment I can spend painting again, every class I was able to take and all the newly found joy art gives me today.
If my paintings allow me to share and convey some of this joy, then the journey has been well worth it.