My life as an artist

My life as an artist

It all began when I was a child… at the end of each school year, my report card read « lacks concentration,away with the fairies, could do better ». I found it difficult to explain to my parents that I didn’t do it on purpose, and it was hard for me to accept it. My consolation was that the teacher always trusted me to decorate the blackboard with beautiful drawings for Christmas and I loved to always see my artwork given pride of place.

I must also say that, being a naturally shy and sensitive person, drawing and painting have always been my favourite means of expression. If I’d been a dancer I would have expressed my passions and emotions through my body, but this wasn’t possible in the rural Aveyron of my childhood. It’s through my pencils and brushes that I found the joy and freedom to express myself and to dream, as well as to admire nature and the changing seasons with a developing sense of wonder at the sight of such beauty.

This said, I have to admit that I wasn’t good at maths or science and of only average ability, unfortunately, in French. My destiny was therefore written and it all began at the University of Fine Arts in Paris. Indeed these studies led to meeting people, apprenticeship, responsibility, and opened my mind to art in general : tapestry, music, poetry, literature, painting, etc… In the museums I admired the ‘Fauves’ artists, Bonnard, Vlaminck, Derain along with my other favourites Rembrandt and Chardin. There are many that I love : Monet, Burne-Jones and the Symbolists, Gaudi, Modigliani.

Later, as I evolved as an artist I became interested in contemporary art in discovering Joan Mitchell, Arlette Le More, Antoni Clavé, Rebeyrolle, Barcello, Joël Dabin, Nicolas de Stael, Rothko.

The life of an artist is not always rosy but artists aren’t usually materialists, which is my case.

Having another joballows you to paint when you want, how you want and to remain free. That’s why for a long time I’ve led art workshops.

Nowadays, I have the chance to accompany groups wishing to paint abroad . During my travel to Sri Lanka in 2006, I was overwhelmed by the colours that I’ve since tried to introduce into my painting. This has refreshed my work and inspired new colour schemes. Since my travel to China in 2008, I’ve become more concerned with highlighting the contrast between light and dark colours and light and shadow. Now you understand why the Chinese invented what we French call ‘encre de Chine’*. During the several weeks spent in Kerala and Southern India, I was blown away by the astounding range of the colour palette.

What I’m trying to achieve in painting is primarily to be myself. I sincerely hope I can also express the values shared by all human beings: the love of beauty, peace, and aspiring to a higher

consciousness, well aware this may be out of reach.

* Indian ink in English !

Marie line Montécot

Octobre 2012