This week we had such a wonderful time getting to know French artist Marie Landreau. Her work is exceptionally beautiful and is recognised by many throughout France and beyond. She has been guest of honour at several notable events and is affiliated with the House of Artists, Paris. But her success certainly doesn’t end here. Check out the full interview below to hear all about her journey so far and her big plans for the future.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MARIE…
Name: Marie Landreau
Location: Cévennes National Park, World Biosphere Reserve classified by UNESCO, France
Favourite Place of Travel: Anywhere near the ocean
Passions: Painting, nature, music and singing
Education/Training: Studies in Science but I am a self-taught painter
Occupation: Professional painter
Favourite Quote: “The painting comes from the place where the words can no more express themselves.” – Gao Xingjian
TELL US A BIT ABOUT THE ART YOU LIKE TO CREATE AND THE MATERIALS YOU USE.
I paint with mixed media because I like the freedom that this technique allows me.
In my opinion, a painting can be read as well as to be looked at. The quality of light intrinsic to each raw material, place and time of the day is never the same, as if it was in a relentless wave/interaction between all the layers of reality. The subject is manifesting itself out of the reliefs and the abstraction of the first layers of colours.
I bring to life raw materials and play with their textures (marble powder, various sands, silk fibres, wood fibres and various papers), as well as their shine (resin, mother-of-pearl, and metal leaves) and with their matte effect (ink, acrylic paintings etc.) Thanks to these techniques, the imagination of the viewer is stimulated as if they were listening to a pure piece of music.
AS AN ARTIST, WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR PAINTINGS?
Since a very early age, I have been overwhelmed by the strength and poetic beauty of Mother Nature. I am fully conscious of the protection it offers me as a human being.
The immensity of the sea and its relentless movements between turbulence and quietness also inspires me. The changing skies – from deep blue to dark grey clouds. From sunny to stormy weather and the sensual delight of flowers – their fragrance and their unique colours. All these beautiful things allow me to follow Alice on her journey to Wonderland. I want to paint the unseen and the under layers of what I can see. I want to paint my feelings and to share my emotions with the world.
HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY AS AN ARTIST BEGIN?
I have been painting since my early years of childhood. I feel the need to transcribe my hedonist feelings. I’m mainly self-taught, still creating my own way.
HOW MANY PIECES HAVE YOU COMPLETED TO DATE AND DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ONE?
As I love what I’m doing I don’t count. However, I would guess that I have created over 500 pieces. But one of my all time favourites is Sérénité.
APPROXIMATELY HOW LONG WOULD YOU SPEND CREATING A PIECE?
It is a hard question to answer. Years of research and several dozens of hours in several steps including drying time go into creating one piece.
YOU HAVE HAD MANY HIGH POINTS IN YOUR ARTISTIC LIFE SO FAR. BUT WHAT HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE AND WHY?
After several exhibitions in prestigious spots, I know at the end that what I enjoy the most is the intimate connections I build with people.
One of the most touching memories I have is when I was the guest of honour at an exhibition and a young woman cried deeply and for so long in front of my paintings.
Another time, a woman came again and again to one of my exhibitions. She had just lost her husband and I believe my paintings brought a sense of comfort and well-being to her.
People have told me that seeing my paintings in the morning helps them to put one foot forward. When the viewer’s emotion is meeting mine, it is a true engine to my creation.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ARTISTS AND WHAT PIECES OF THEIRS DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
As a child, I copied Renoir’s painting Fillette au Chapeau. I also really like Georges Delatour and his work around the light. I have been really impressed by Saint Joseph Charpentier and Rembrandt. To close my top 5, I would add Caravage and William Turner.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR AN AMATEUR ARTIST TRYING TO MAKE A NAME FOR THEMSELVES?
Wow! This is such a hard question to answer.
Firstly, have fun! Enjoy what you are doing because you will have to paint a lot to find your way and to find your signature. Discover what you must tell and how you should tell it. Show your work at local exhibitions and meet other artists to be part of a collective exhibition.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?
I see myself hosting a gigantic exhibition that will mimic a nest-like universe or an underwater cave thanks to the mix of technologies and techniques used, and it will host huge framed paintings that will appear 3D.
YOU HAVE AN EXHIBITION ON THE 25TH OF JULY. WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT TO SEE THERE?
They will see the exhibition of my latest work about the sea, the trees and the Cevennes. I will be on site every day.
More information on this exhibition and to check out more of Marie’s paintings you can head over to her website: www.marie-landreau.com