Tiana Kameni red thread

“Loved by all”. This is the Malagasy first name of the model. She leans by the pool on the terrace of a troglodyte house, just below Oia.

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Nea Kameni is the volcano she is looking at. In the heart of the magnificent Santorini caldera.

I started the undercoat of this painting in red. I liked the effect. After many subsequent steps, the red was still there. And it might well become the common thread on this next painting season.

Opening in between two canals

 

opening-amsterdam-exhibition-antoinerenault-art-26We 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.

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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.

Something unbelievable happened on Instagram on January 1st

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.

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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.

Kitrinos

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.

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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!

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Bumblebee

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.

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Another Yellow submarine

I’ve got enough pictures in stock to paint underwater yellow highlights for years. I still love to play with this ransom mirror: what is played under the surface is of infinite creativity.

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And even if that part of the canvas is as demanding when it comes to drawing and colour, it leads to abstraction faster. I like it. It will probably take more space in my next compositions…

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Librarians award

antoinerenault-prixfoliodeslibraires-lesgarconsdeleteI am lucky: “Les garçons de l’été” have become the novel of this last summer in France. This Folio book was on all beaches. It was in all windows too and was awarded the Prix Folio des libraires . A beautiful reward for Rebecca Lighieri alias Emmanuelle Bayamack-Tam. And the first time one of my paintings passes in between so many hands (and legs).

 

 

 

 

 

“Crevette” (shrimp)

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.

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Poolside

Elena Iv-skaya was born in the Russian Far East, on the banks of the Amur River and close to the Chinese border. Model became a photographer by chance. Chance works in a remarkable way as you can check there. She lives today in the Reunion island.

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This gifted composition master lets her colorful creativity explode in the middle of this lush island. She was there and kindly answered “yes” when I asked permission to take inspiration from one of her shots. Elena is a kind of florist of modern times. She composes. Selects her flowers with uncompromising precision. Collects models that find their place perfectly in her graphic bouquets. A casting of a crazy personality. Looks like their faces were drawn for her light. Flowers can fade. Elena’s models hatch under an caring lens.

The flower of this diptych is Sarah Akrour. Poolside eyes. Blond as sand. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From a flower to another. Even rarer. Oulimata Gallet. Mannequin sénégalaise hyper prometteuse. A senegalese model with high potential. Some shots from Elena with Oulimata are just fascinating. One of them inspired me a sketch while I was doodling in the plane.

I am now watching Elena, Sarah et Oulimata as three beautiful sources of inspiration.