About the conception of a painting
How do you select a subject?
What are the determining elements in this choice?
How is the subject composed?
It’s difficult to explain in a few words why you choose one subject rather than another. It’s mainly a particular mood that emanates from it, enhancing reverie.
As the painting progresses, the subject takes shape. A part of the process is self-controlled, the other part is self-inspired.
One can control some elements, like the choice in the composition or the technical aspects. But as the painting comes to life, some independent phenomenons occur, which are beyond the artist’s own will. Inspiration then stands for reason. That is where the mystery of creation lies.
Given the choice of representing characters or not, this does not depend on a rule but on a momentary feeling. Sometimes one or several figures are essential to give perspective and depth. But in some other cases the human presence is only suggested by a slight detail or even in some cases is not necessary at all.
What is mainly important in a good subject, whatever it is (landscape, portrait, seascape or architecture…) is to be the trigger which inspires the painter’s creativity.
The main element is the painting itself, and the charm it exudes.
A painting sometimes seems as real as a photograph. It’s always an illusion: the painting you are looking at is a graphic representation and not the subject itself. Magritte put that perfectly in one of his most famous works, writing at the bottom of the painting the phrase “This is not a pipe”. Indeed it was not a pipe, but just its representation.
Nowadays, the special effects born with the computer era can generate this kind of illusion in the art of film-making, depriving it of its objectivity.
It is always difficult to explain the creation process of a painting; it’s a part of the artist’s life, and the way it works is often beyond belief. In this mystery lies all the beauty of art. The mysteries of creation are in a way as clear as mud. Whatever the subject, there is always creation. The subject always transcends itself.
I think that the main characteristics of my paintings, from the beginning of the Venetian series to the most recent works, is the interest taken in depicting the infinite nuances of light and shade. They give the painting its atmosphere and depth.
We have told but a snippet of the essential. After that begins the domain of the reverie. The painting once finished has its own life. It escapes from its creator.