Blossoming with Delight
The arrival of spring has put us in a frenzy and if there is one artist who honors the seasons and poetically immortalizes the rebirth of nature and life, it is Fabienne Monestier! This passionate fine art painter tells us her story, reveals her inspirations and explains how her colorful and florally dominant paintings come into being. Let’s get to know her.
K. Hello Fabienne. What a pleasure to sit down with you today! Let’s start with the beginning…
I come from a family of do-it-yourselfers and jack-of-all-trades. Not artists in the traditional sense of the word, but people who ask themselves questions about “how to do things right”.
My mother explained to me that, as soon as I could hold a pencil, I scribbled, drew, reproduced what I saw, or invented images. My parents encouraged me by buying papers, pencils, pastels and paints. Eventually, I was even allowed to make large drawings on the walls at home!
K. When you are in your studio, ready to start a new work, where do you start?
I start by making…stains! Since I paint by imagination, colorful blobs and doodles are a good base to work from. I let my hand draw random shapes.
From these spots, shapes emerge. It is pareidolia, or my perception of something as an object or pattern, when in fact, it’s simply a splotch on the canvas. I then let myself be guided towards what the painting tells me. I paint most of the time going from light to dark, like watercolorists. I often try to maintain spontaneous brushstrokes, almost like a nervous writing that I use in blurred, soft areas. Sometimes I add texture to the backgrounds. I paint several pieces at the same time. Going from one to the other allows for my eyes to rest.
K. Which great names in painting have inspired you and led you down this path?
I have classical and countless influences! Caravaggio’s dramatic chiaroscuro, the Impressionists for light and color, modern painting and lyrical abstraction for gesture, energy, spontaneity.
Currently, I look a lot at contemporary figurative Anglo-Saxon painting which combines a science of values, colors and gestures, figuration that is born from abstract brush strokes.
“I have learned that there is no such thing as a bad subject. The important thing is the way you depict it. You must let its personality appear with control and flexibility.”
Acrylic Painting (80 x 80 cm)
Tondo Floral aux Roses Oranges
Oil Painting (50 x 50 cm)
KAZoART’s Opinion : The pictorial work of Fabienne Monestier occurs within a joyful and optimistic universe. The eye does not cease to be caught by this purity of colors and this bewitching play of lights.
K. Nature, landscapes, portraits and nudes are recurrent genres in your work. How do you choose said themes?
My desire to depict certain subjects arises at the same time as my desire to have particular forms, colors or effects. I make images of subjects that speak to me at a given moment. At first glance, this seems obvious, even simplistic, but it really isn’t! In reality, it raises the question of the thought of a creative act, of the reflection (“la pittura e cosa mentale” said Maestro Da Vinci). It calls into questions creative intelligence, the control of the hand and of the education of the eye.
I studied visual arts in Orléans. The teachers were (rightly) harping on the basics of this questioning: What do you want to do? How will you do it? Why will you do it? I learned that there is no such thing as a bad subject. The important thing is how you do it, the personality that you work all your life to let appear, in mastery and flexibility. I am often asked, “What kind of flowers are these?” and I invariably answer: “They are flowers…”
Just as in opera, which I also practice professionally, there is the dimension of “subtitling” the text, the image and the information. It’s about how I think about what I am painting, singing and saying. With which underlying psychic elements do I feed my creation? Art is a human activity. The brain is the main tool.
K. How would you characterize your work in a few words?
A taste for techniques and subjects. A constant search for light and purity of colors. A physical expression that leans towards spontaneity and freedom of gesture.
Where can one find Fabienne Monestier’s work?
On KAZoART, of course! But the artist has made herself known beyond the borders with personal and collective exhibitions, in France, but also in Belgium and Luxembourg. She is currently represented by the Le Gisant Gallery in Brittany and by Gallery44 in Canada.
Verveines au Jardin
Acrylic Painting (92 x 65 cm)
Mixed Media (90 x 43 cm)
Les Mimosas Rouges
Oil Painting (92 x 60 cm)