Impromptu pigment and ink works of Sabine Cornic

Each of Sabine Cornic‘s works is one-of-a-kind, and, according to Sabine, even the artist herself could not reproduce her own creations in exactly the same manner. The latter seems to be a considerable downside of the technique employed by the artist, but is there more to it?

Sabine’s main artistic media are mineral pigments and ink, which she – in Pollock-like style – pours and drips on Japanese Kozo paper. Such execution, without doubt, leaves a lot of room for unpredictability, but it is also a wonderful demonstration of how an artistic spirit can convert chaos into an eloquently aesthetic object of art.

MOUNTAIN

Where do you get supplies for your work (paper, ink, pigment, etc.)? Do you have a favourite provider?

The Japanese paper I use is not that easy to get. I order it from a wholesale paper merchant in London and ask visiting friends to act as couriers. As for pigments, I buy them whenever I see some that spark an interest, but from time to time I indulge into a large order from a German pigment company which has hundreds and hundreds of different pigments (including really poisonous ones) for every purpose under the sun.

My dream is to visit this shop: Pigment

At what point can an amateur artist consider himself/ herself a professional one?

I honestly don’t know. Probably when you sell enough to pay the rent? (This criterion would exclude me…) 

Finished piece

Does the place of residency affect an artist’s painting style? Has there been any change in your style after you moved from London to Bordeaux?

Everything can affect an artist’s style, but it’s often subtle. I have been working on a few pieces inspired by the Base sous-marine, a place that fascinates me with its eerie beauty and troubled history. Bordeaux is a very stony city, and I am intrigued by the texture and colour of the traditional limestone, so let’s see what happens with that in the future.

In your “Heimat” (in English: “Motherland”) project you claim to question the concepts of nationality, home, and belonging. Given that you yourself have been living abroad, where do you feel you belong?

Heimat is a difficult thing. Accepting to be without one has been a painful process. Yes, you can yourself be cosmopolitan, but the fact remains that you give up something to gain that status. I had underestimated how much it would affect me, and moving to Bordeaux last year is still unsettling me. 

Artist’s workshop

When describing your working process, you use the adjective “accidental” – can you please clarify what exactly such working process represents?

Accidental means I have no idea what I’m doing. I am not flippant, though – it is really like that. I love the process of pouring and dribbling paint, pressing paper into stains of wet ink, making creases, pouring more paint…. and having no control over it. Well, not much anyway. The beginning is always chaotic, but then, after a few layers, I begin to see something emerging, and I keep working on that with more focus. Learning when to stop is still difficult, and I have ruined more pieces then I can count by overdoing. The process takes a lot of time, because I need to let the paper dry before working on another layer. It’s easier in summer, when my studio gets boiling hot. 🙂 

Drying

Who are some of the artists you are inspired by?

Lots and lots. A by no means finished list:

Anselm Kiefer (my all time ever favourite)
Gerhard Richter
Pierre Soulage
Antonie Tapies
Marc Rothko
Jackson Pollock
Cy Towmbly

Edgar Degar is often quoted as having said that “Painting is not very difficult when you don’t know how; but when you know, oh! then, it’s another matter.” What did the great French painter mean?

I think he meant that you get better with practise, but your mind is always faster than your ability, so it gets ever harder to live up to your own expectations. 

If you had to re-paint one of your works from memory, would you be able to recall all the details?

No chance. 

Detail

Interested in learning more about Sabine Cornic or getting in touch with her? Here is where you can find the artist:

Hugo Pondz and his minimalistic universe of blue

The first thing you notice when facing Hugo Pondz‘ artworks is that rich profusion of blue which prevails in all of the artist’s paintings. The artist – who himself describes blue as a “relaxing colour” – could seemingly not have picked a better colour scheme to rely on. It would indeed seem impossible to deny the potence of the effect of stillness and absolute immobility that the artist managed to bring into existence by “merely” adopting the blue. What, however, lies behind this perceived serenity of the landscape?

It turns out an artist only needs as little to be able to say as much.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY

What was your professional activity before you fully dedicated yourself to painting? Did you receive any formal education/ training in arts?

Before painting I was a photographer. I never received any artistic education but I was always surrounded by paintings, as my father was an antique dealer.

With blue so richly prevalent in your works, is it correct to say it’s your favourite colour? Is it aimed at evoking certain emotions in the viewers of your paintings?

You know, 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with this blue liquid, and strangely enough, we are made up of almost the same percentage. The celestial vault is also blue.

I think everyone loves blue, it’s a relaxing colour.

What paintings decorate the place where you live?

I have to put my paintings somewhere, and my girlfriend loves to see them, so…

THE FUTURE PROJECTS

What’s the importance of music in your life? Do you listen to it when painting?

I’m very lucky to have my girlfriend, who is a pianist, so that’s it. But I really love heavy metal and electronic music as well.

With so many artworks at our disposition, is it still possible for a contemporary artist to create something innovative rather than “recycle” what’s been created before?

I think all artists have always done that. They are inspired by nature, they look at what other artists do, and repeat all this through their own filter. After all, it is a matter of taste, education, and spatiality. A European does not approach a work in the same way a Chinese does and vice versa.

THE SIGNAL

Why do artists often try to seem mysterious and inaccessible to people outside of the artistic circle?

No, no one is mysterious. Or rather everyone seems mysterious when you don’t understand their language. If you listen to two electricians talk about their work, you probably won’t understand much, not to mention two nuclear physicists 🙂

How crucial is it for an artist to be a man of his time and why?

I think the real question here is: how crucial is it for a man to be a man of his time and why? I think it is important to take an active part in the world, and especially to do good things. Too many people are working for the dark side and only see money, and it is a big mistake. And our whole society is based on it, and it is inevitably going to its downfall. So, I think it doesn’t matter what job you do because, after all, you need everyone. And one of the best things you can do is to question yourself about everything, all the time. Because we live in a society of liars, and if we want to move forward, we have to question everything.

For my part, among other things I’ve always been shocked by the blatant lie of the 9/11 World Trade Centre events. You see, in plane crashes there is always something systematic happening that no one, not even the President of the United States, could prevent. Not even the military-industrial complex. Despite all the CGI (author’s note: computer-generated imagery) they give us to see, they could not prevent families from going to the airport to ask for news about possible survivors. But it didn’t JUST happen – it’s as simple as that! It was the key to fighting the war, and getting the Patriot Act signed. And now no one in the world can pass through an airport with half a liter of shampoo in their suitcase anymore.

So, for the work below “The First Key” seems to be the right title. Hope you like it.

THE FIRST KEY

Interested in learning more about Hugo Pondz or getting in touch with him? Here is where you can find him:

Dreamlike exotic locations of Isabelle Feliu’s illustrations

The settings of illustrations depicting ephemeral, nearly surreal locations full of sand and palm trees might not be an obvious choice for somebody coming from Canada and based in Norway, but precisely this was Isabelle Feliu‘s pick.

Isabelle, who has collaborated, among others, with Puma and Marie Claire France, has been asked to be interviewed quite a few times, but rest assured that Approachable Art has done its best to provide its readers with a one-of-the-kind interview with the artist.

Dragon Fruit & Champagne

Why do you only paint women? Have you ever gone through a creative period when there were men depicted in your works, too?

I started to paint women because they are what I mostly relate to. In fashion school, we drew a lot of feminine silhouettes, my style has evolved a lot since then but the idea of depicting women stayed with me. I haven’t painted many men in the past, except for some private pieces that I didn’t share, but as my style evolves, I would like to make more space for them in my work. 

Have you ever appeared in your own illustrations? If not, how would you set the scene of a self-portrait?

I made an autoportrait once, but I am not really a portraitist and I usually avoid illustrating existing people. 

I am quite shy and introverted, so I think that it would be an important theme in my autoportrait. 

In one of your interviews you state that “my paintings are my wish-list” – how many of those wishes depicted in your illustrations have come true?

Unfortunately, not many! A lot of my illustrations depict places where I would like to be in that moment, but they usually are from my imagination. A big part of that wish list also concerns fashion, but I seldom end up getting the clothes or accessories that I have illustrated. Painting is less expensive than shopping!

Pink Pyramids

Is there any particular time of the day when you feel most productive?

To be honest, I never feel very productive. I do my best to be disciplined and work all day from 9 until when my boyfriend comes back in the evening, but it doesn’t come naturally at any time of the day.

What do you do on those days when you absolutely don’t feel like painting/ drawing?

Emails, preparing things for my accountant, editing my website, lunching with friends and of course, feeling bad about not painting. 

Do you get emotionally attached to the work you create?

Not really, I am attached to it while I am painting it, but once I have finished working on it and that I have scanned it, I don’t have any problem letting it go. 

Seeing how appealing hot exotic locations seem to you, do you think you will move to such a place one day?

It is quite a dream, and I would surely love to live in such places for a while, however right now I am so Nostalgic of Montreal, that I only see myself going back to live there in the long term.  

Peruvian Girl and Friend


Interested in learning more about the artist or getting in touch with her? Here is where you can find Isabelle Feliu and more of her works:



Kelly Allison: contemporary urban artwork designed & painted in Bordeaux, France

Architect turned artist, Kelly Allison is an enthusiastic creator of urban paintings that stand out due to their whirlpool of colour. Her artworks represent a blend of everyday sights with the artist’s poetic view of them – a seemingly perfect formula Kelly has been successfully applying to tell the stories of the cities on her canvases.

Depsite being busy due to her departure for New York where her work was exhibited as part of the Clio Art Fair from 7, March till 10, March, Kelly has generously agreed to provide answers to the questions that I was eager to ask her.

Bordeaux-based artist of Canadian origin Kelly Allison

The architecture of what city prevails in your paintings? Why is that city a source of inspiration for you?

As a Canadian, coming from a new world country, I’m spontaneously attracted to what is more unknown to me, the old-world cities ; the grandeur of the architecture, the cultural impact and the unyielding façades of the buildings.

I have painted many urban works of Bordeaux, where I live today, as it is a natural point of reference. However, today, I would say that my work isn’t exclusive to any city.

BORDEAUX SKIES
Pont de pierre, Bordeaux
acrylic on canvas

Can you paint a city without ever visiting it? How do you capture its vibe, then?

Yes I can paint cities I have never visited, but I question whether those works have the same amount of emotional integrity.

I’m often commissioned to paint cities that I have never visited. I try to fuel these creations using the collectors account of their experience and their emotional connection to the place. I can’t reproduce a vibe that I have never felt, but I can try to translate the story onto the canvas.

What are some of the current projects you are engaged in?

This year has already been of a whirlwind of diverse projects and I’m delighted!

I’m working on an exciting project with other creatives in Bordeaux called the ‘Troisième Chapeau’ which is a multidisciplinary project involving numerous artists representing an array of art forms (music, dance, film, theatre, composition, illustration..). This is our 3rd venture together. We represent 9 different countries but we all live in Bordeaux and all share a mutual passion to create. We work simultaneously or consecutively on a given theme and the results are then shared as a performance or film.

Also, I’ve been commissioned by a new boutique opening soon in Bordeaux to create small original artworks to be integrated into unique art cards. I will be producing 10 new pieces a month, which is a fantastic new challenge.

THIS STREET
Lefkada, Greece
acrylic & ink on canvas

What’s the life of an artist like? What do you like & dislike about your profession?

Like many freelance professionals, the life of an artist is a roller coaster of emotions, of ups and downs.

There is no fixed income, there are many moments of doubt and fatigue. I find it difficult to find time for all aspects of the business:the marketing, communication, production, accounting…etc! These are probably the most challenging aspects.

However, from my perspective, all of these negatives are more than compensated by all the positives!
The freedom to create, the joy in sharing your art form, the human connections, the possibilities and the excitement of not knowing what may come!

If you weren’t an artist, what profession would you most likely choose?

I wouldn’t! I’ve been an architect, a teacher, a translator and today I’m an artist 🙂

How can you make sure the buyer who orders a customised piece will like the result of your work? Does the artist’s vision always correspond to that of the customer?

You can never be sure.

I try to stay close to the collector during the entire process by involving them. I may share  with them the sketches, colour schemes, details… I then validate the painting either on-site or with photos. Sometimes colours or details need to be re-worked following the feedback.

Can you tell the difference between Persian blue, Powder blue, and Prussian blue? Is it important for an artist to be able to distinguish between all the shades of various colours?

No and Yes!!! I don’t think that knowing the chromatic colour scale by heart is important. Skill sets vary widely between artists. The common denominator for artists is perhaps simply the need to create and the desire to share their art-form.


AVENIDA 4
Cot, Cartago, Costa Rica
acrylic & ink on canvas

Interested in learning more about the artist or getting in touch with her? Here is where you can find Kelly Allison and more of her works: