Sailing to heaven

Sailing to heaven ©antoinerenaultEarly days of September . My sailboat seems to guess the coming wintering. Last day of sailing . It better be good , it’s hard enough like that. Be entertaining , sporty , frank breeze. Or relaxing , charming , calm sea. There was the beautiful . True holiday gift . Light haze of those great sunny days that stretches through morning .

DSC_0175bGood friends on the beach. This is the day when I shot those pictures that would inspire “Duel de Sauterelles.” A swim, a picnic and aboard!

Glassy surface . Caressing breath , just enough to slide along the outline of the coast. From the anchorage to the port. Slowly. Time to enjoy the show. Completely . Eyes do their best to fill the memory. The more I watch this island, the more I find it beautiful . The more I miss her .

"Sailing to heaven"  ©2016 Antoine Renault    Acrylic on canvas  Triptych 3x80x40cm

“Sailing to heaven” ©2016 Antoine Renault Acrylic on canvas Triptych 3x80x40cm

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Remember all the beautiful things

images“Since I was a child, I have a kind of disease: all the things that amaze me go away without my memory keeping enough of them “(JH Lartigue). Most of those “things” were moments. I believe I have the same disease. That is probably why I love Jacques Henry Lartigue so much.

Washing away from the soul the dust of everyday life AntoineRenault 2016   Acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

“Washing away from the soul the dust of everyday life” ©AntoineRenault2016
Acrylic on canvas 100x70cm   inspired by JH Lartigue photography

This early photographer chose to be a painter because photography was not considered a serious activity. He exhibited in the same gallery as Monet in Paris. Amusing coincidences: I discovered his work in NYC in the year of his death (1986). He became a world famous photographer in NYC the year of my birth.

lartigue_autoFortune favors the prepared mind: In 1962, he had 100,000 shots behind him but he still thought he was a painter. During a stopover in NYC, a meeting is organized by a LIFE maagazinefriend with John Szarkowski,  young new curator of the photography department at MoMA. Love at first sight. In 1963, at the age of 69, he exhibits for the first time as a photographer… at the MoMA!!! In November of the same year, Life magazine features a 10-page article in the same issue that reveals the JFK assassination in Dallas. He had met young Senator Kennedy 10 years ago with friends in Antibes. This Life issue spreads across the planet and builds his worldwide reputation.

Picasso said that “art washes away from the soul of the dust of every day.” Personal expression gives beauty and meaning to human experience. Lartigue spent a whole day photographing enthusiastically Picasso and his universe. He did tit all his life: catch what amazed him.

His color work was recently shown at the FOAM museum of Amsterdam. I had a crush on 4 photos, including that of her friend Mary Bailey. He loved women. You can feel it in this picture.

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The island under Oia

Amoudi-Bay-swim-area-photo-from-the-godsavethescene-blogAt the bottom of the cliff. Sheltered from the crowd. Yet, a twenty meter swim is enough to reach this island. Perfect diving spot, the pebble is named Agios Nikolaos ( Saint Nicolas ). Make sense: there is a little white chapel on the rock, looking South towards the center of the Caldera. Resting there is a gift. Above your already tanned left shoulder, 100 meters of red cliffs with the village of Oia at the top, waiting to watch your dive. Under your feet, a crystal clear water, 400 meters deep!

So, yes, you can dive. And it’s extremely blue when you look down . Before you reach the surface, the reflections show is enhanced by the white of the chapel and the red of the cliffs . And when you eventually decide to emerge, it’s so breath taking that you don’t think of diving again at first. Just of staying there floating, swirling slightly to enjoy the panorama. And get used to this blissful smile that remains strangely hooked to your lips.

"Swinging lightly"  ©AntoineRenault2016   Acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

“Swinging lightly” ©AntoineRenault2016 Acrylic on canvas 100x70cm


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Volviendo de Alojera

c28e3e2085992d58294abe38657d39d7You have to deserve this island. La Gomera: a small pebble in the south of the Canaries. A cone which stops the clouds on its tip and maintains a millenium forest on its roof . This is where all the trade paths were flowing from one valley to another . A star of steep ravines falling in a wild Atlantic.


Topography made communication so complex that they developed a unique language: el silbo Gomero. The only whistled language in the world. Still spoken by most of the 20,000 inhabitants of the island. Was declared as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. The movie “Big Blue” had helped me to find Amorgos . The “Silbo” song led me to this amazing island. Kingdom of centenarian laurels, banana trees, whales … and hikers. All the walks are spectacular here. As the one leading to Alojera . The kind of spot where you don’t end up by chance . A tiny harbor nestled in a small cove .

"Volviendo de Alojera"  ©AntoineRenault2016 70x50cm

“Volviendo de Alojera” ©AntoineRenault2016 70x50cm

One of the few that is not at the end of a ravine. The place is rather austere. Seems dedicated to swallow the western storms. Its proud pier in pole position. At the end of which, it looks like that if you are on a quiet day. And if you stay there until late afternoon, you suddenly understand better the why of this bunch of regulars waiting there on the terrace.  To call it a day after hours of swell-breaking, the cove feasts in the evening with an amazing sunset that seems to have been custom tailored for the place.

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From one cove to another

rocher de l'Anse Rouge noirmoutier antoinerenaultThose summer mornings… when the ocean is glassy, the sun hot and the tide high… Wind vanished. Schedules too. The rule of the family lunch tacitly gives in. Nothing can quite resist these weather conditions. Kids scatter on the beach, looking for their impromptu fun of the day. Like affording oneself a feast of swimming for example.

"Allée du Cob" ©AntoineRenault2016  acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

“Allée du Cob” ©AntoineRenault2016 acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

vue aérienne bois de la chaise antoinerenaultGo from one cove to another. From one bath to another. Dive from the Estacade, then from the rocks at l’Anse rouge, then from the pier at Les Souzeaux. Get back into the Bois de la Chaize, west side. Then finally turn right. The extent of La Clère appears in a wide panorama at the end of a canyon of holm oaks. The towel begins to be a bit wet by now. Can’t wait to find the hot sand again in a few feet. And to recognize this familiar landmark slightly to the right: the rock of the Cob.

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paradise beach antoinerenaultHere it is! Paradise beach. That’s how they named it. OK, I know every nice island has its own… But here it’s different: we are in Amorgos. Dead end of a rocky mountain path. Sunset right ahead. Transparency was waiting for us. The sun too. Cliffs are of an intense ochre, water of a unique sinople green. By the end of the day, you can fly over the sun and feel actually pretty close to paradise.

"Parádeisos" ©antoinerenault2016  acrylic on canvas 100x100cm

“Parádeisos” ©antoinerenault2016 acrylic on canvas 100x100cm

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In the shadow of a high dive


Estacde Noirmoutier AntoineRenault

This pier is where all my summer holidays started. At the end of the amazing bois de la Chaize. Protected by the Lighthouse of La Pointe des Dames. From the top of it, the view over the canopy is just breath taking. You had to walk through the trees and the rocks up to the ultimate destination.

Enjoy the view. take a deep breath. Jump in the air. Dive in the big blue. The new summer was on!

"In the shadow of a high dive"  ©AntoineRenault2016   acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

“In the shadow of a high dive” ©AntoineRenault2016 acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

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Agia Anna

agia anna antoinerenault.comThis place is blessed by the Gods. Close to the amazing Monastery of Panagia Chozoviotissa, 2nd oldest in Greece. But it is also at the foot of Agia Anna (St. Anne). The most beautiful chapel of Amorgos, immortalized by the movie “The Big Blue”. If you go down the cliff to the right, there is a small fisherman shelter that makes the perfect starting point for a dive. Underwater flat rocks create stunning transparency. The perfect place for a shoot. And inspiration  follows naturally.

"Agia Anna"  ©AntoineRenault2016  acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

“Agia Anna” ©AntoineRenault2016 acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

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This is a constantly moving border. According to where those ripples are, in the sun or the shade ? the wave in the sun or under a shadow ? Depending on wether the side facing the sun or the other. Switching from the sky blue reflections to the sea green transparencies. This graphical sophistication fascinates me. Add some foam hems to spark some mesmerizing whites… and I’m thrilled!

"Liquescent"  ©AntoineRenault2016  acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

“Liquescent” ©AntoineRenault2016 acrylic on canvas 100x70cm

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Sailing South

cruising greeceHeat wave. Threading our way between the huge ships in the harbor. The sea already has the exact color I need… Athens hills disappear in our very long wake. Slaloming during hours through all those islands while sun goes down. You have to deserve Amorgos. Beauty commands patience. This is the moment when you get used to it again: just take your time. Time for photography, drawing, and a first slice of Greek sun. Dreaming of a place that will manage to amaze us. Again.

"Sundeck"    ©AntoineRenault2015    acrylic on canvas 50x50cm

“Sundeck” ©AntoineRenault2015 acrylic on canvas 50x50cm

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