Last week, as I was sitting in my kitchen looking for reasons to procrastinate on chores, my oldest daughter brought me the bag of flyers that had just been delivered to our door. I usually use the flyers to protect my easel from painting “slips” when I paint the edges of my pieces.
This bag also contains a regional newspaper that I like to leaf through occasionally to keep up with local news. On this particular day, the front page quickly caught my attention; it was about a local gentleman who had converted his own home into an art gallery, more precisely, a collector, himself an artist, who had nearly 200 pieces of art of all sizes spread throughout his home, including his bathrooms. He lived daily among his collection. It was a very inspiring and interesting read. Since then, I have been following this artist on social media.
As I continued to leaf through the newspaper, an advertisement also caught my eye. It was about an art exhibition organized by a local association of painters where 70 painters would present some of their pieces outdoors all weekend. Having never participated in such an event, especially in my area, I cut out the ad and decided to go there during the weekend.
The ad being rather sober and concise, I had, therefore, no particular expectation about the event and was simply curious to see what I would find there.
What a surprise when I arrived on the scene!
Indeed, from the first artist I visited at her stand, I was amazed by the artistic quality before my eyes. I had never seen such originality, finesse and softness in the use of materials and colors. It was simply beautiful!
Thus, I quickly realized that I had just tread the grounds of an island of artistic treasures to which I had secretly always wanted to go. I had to explore it in depth.
My experience of wonder kept repeating itself over and over again as I visited these outstanding artists who captured my mind in their distinct world, making me lose all sense of time. So much so that I even had to come back the next day to enjoy the works of the artists that I had not seen the day before.
I learned a great deal from many of these artists, both artistically and personally, most of whom had been in the business for anywhere from ten years to several decades. They were all very warm, spoke about their art with an inexhaustible passion, and encouraged me to pursue my artistic ambitions. As I interacted with them and watched some of them create masterpieces before my eyes, I was amazed, fascinated, intimidated. I had the courage to give my business card to some of them so they could view my work online, but the biggest lesson I learned from my encounters with these master artists was that I still had a lot to learn. I have only been painting for 2 years! That is the reality! I may be talented, but I am still a beginner who has to work towards mastering his art. This path requires practice, patience and time.
I will therefore take my time to evolve by practicing my art every day or so in order to find my artistic essence and to see it mature. For that, I took the wise decision to join this association of artists whose artistic and human richness seems unlimited to me. This experience allowed me to put my pride aside and to destroy my prejudices according to which I have some skills that I only need to practice daily in solitude to become better. It seems that for an artist to grow, he or she needs to be part of a community, just as a child needs some kind of family to grow and develop healthily.
Thus, I position myself as an apprentice ready to absorb the knowledge of masters in the field because, as Philippe Carré, a French academic, would say, “We always learn alone, but never without others”.
Before publishing this article, I asked myself, “Why not ask a few of the artists who made an impression on me during this exhibition for permission to display some of their beautiful work on my blog?” So I did and guess what? They graciously accepted!!!
Here are a few pictures of works I had the chance to enjoy during the Art en Liberté exhibition. Savor this great art without parsimony.