They were there already in the late 19th century. In Noirmoutier island. They are today one of the largest gatherings of traditional sailing units on the Atlantic coast. Reborn 30 years ago thanks to the association La Chaloupe, les régates du bois de la Chaise bring together sailing, ship carpentry and image lovers. Three reasons why I feel so close to this event. My Dad competed and won many years in his category with “Sterna“, a tiny dinghy he built by himself. My son spent years observing both the regatta and the carpenter workshop. That may well be part of what inspired him to become a ship carpenter. I started to paint in those years. Every summer, the new poster unveiling was an exciting opportunity to discover another painter.
I was so happy when asked to create the poster for the 2015 regatta. Also excited to compete for the 30 years anniversary poster. Honored to win that contest. Very pleased to help promote this event which remains so true to its original values.
We were good. Weather had been sunny along the day, like if the exhibition title slightly managed to intimidate winter. By the famous Prinsengracht (Prince’s canal) at the corner of the Eglentiersgracht (as indicated by its name). Exactly a year ago, we were skating on those canals. This time, we were drinking under the stars, surrounded by canvases and good music. The Rockarchive gallery is a place full of good vibes. Walls are used to sublime original shots of Jagger, Dylan or Blondie… but they don’t seem to be against some greek mermaids for a change. An opening is one of these very predictable moments of bliss. The perfect moment: family, friends and/or collectors (often the same) and the work of past 12 months. Unexpected visits, wine, conversations late into the night. We are good.
In the very last moment, just before closing the show, I had a magical surprise: a famous Amsterdam singer, owner of a very old and very famous bar in the neighborhood. She was all smile. Disappeared in the night with one of my drawing.
January 1st, 2019. Progressing on a new work. Happily lost in the greens. Focused on feet in the water at the end of a lovely Greek pier. I’m sharing the fun of my brush strokes through a live session on Instagram. A follower asks if this painting is already booked (!?). Actually not: this is not a commission work and I just got it started. Fine: his wife and he decide to buy it. Done. Like that.
Can’t believe it: they buy a work in progress. I have no idea myself how this will look like at the end. They have never seen any of my original painting in real life. Yes but… they have been following my work for quite a while, we already had some good mail conversations in the past, and they are just confident they will love this one.
Wow… that blew my mind. I’m fascinated by the idea of love at first sight with something unfinished. Fine, we know what art does on brain. We know it makes us healthier and can even make us feel like when we’re falling in love. So be it…
I finished the painting. They loved it. it is now hanging in the home of collectors who know what it means to make a new year’s resolution.
The last piece of my Yellow series, inspired by Amorgos scenes, is called “yellow” in Greek. While painting it, I was intrigued by the interesting effect of red. That color sticked to the face until I eventually decided to bring it back to normal colours. Accident or announcing sign of a new exploration ? Future will tell.
Working on the underwater reflections at the surface was the best part of it. Those colorful contrasts that look random but actually create light and liquid… I love playing with this!
I did not have a title for that one. I made a call to creative support on Facebook. A collector friend from New-Zealand suggested “Bumblebee”. I asked why and found his answer delightful: “For me, Bumblebee conjures up a nostalgic feeling of innocence and unspeakable joy of being”. Of course. Why not… The subjective beauty of the feelings felt in front of a painting are often more interesting than the piece itself. I like that.
Shrimp fishing. The activity goes through the centuries. The format of the net too. One size for each age. It was a beautiful and windy morning. We were all together on this easter tide. You are there waiting for me down the dune to show me the biggest of your tiny takes. They will all end up together anyway, joyfully scalded towards the best of the apéritifs. Those tiny “crevettes grises”, you can swallow them whole. But there is also a luxury option: aligned on a toast buttered with fleur de sel.