The Carp's day


A few weeks ago, after receiving my sumi inkstone, I started a new Japanese notebook. Unbound pages unfold like days do, one after the other. When all of them have been turned, they spread out and pitch together like trees standing against each other in the forest.

"This first page is May 5. I like first pages and I like this May 5th. It’s a symbolic day in Japan, during which silk paper carps are hanging all over the streets. The carp is celebrated for his courage and persistence. Two years ago, I decorated the window of my office with them.

So, the first page ... empty as it should be, to inscribe future reminiscences, subjective or singular, of our postmodern era. Nothing seemed to happen yet on this day. Does something have to happen to connect the days together? No, things will come. The gesture, brushes and ink, lines and shapes play with the void and the plenty. The negative space speaks dumbly, extracting its essence from the shadow and the darkness, as the trees in the forest stretch, from the undergrowth to the end of their branches, to their leaves and think in silence ... Let's not be destabilized.

 It’s ultimately a carp that occurs on the first page."

 The travel ban has been in place in France as a sanitary measure since March 17 and will continue until May 11.

A logbook: nothing more useful to carry on despite the confusion, the severing of ties with others. when what was planned is in standby. What is this horizon at the end of our eyes?

"During this paradoxical time of spatial restriction, I reflect on the meaning we give to our freedom of movement, to the doubts that occur with the decisions of our governments, I think about own uncertainties. Accustomed to trudging here and there, coercive measures prompted us all to change our angles, to adopt another reasoning, to consider more or less latent projects.

So, let's stay home.

However, I like the idea of being contented with what is there. Here the place is remote. It is a fold of earth, confined in the foothills of the Massif Central. Here I can walk for hours without meeting a living soul. Here, social distancing does not exist. It is called isolation or loneliness, solitude, depending on the state of mind. And then, the orchard, the garden, the studio are the spaces that call me, to the rhythm of the seasons, light, rain or times of drought ...

Here, it is the earth that makes me."

In a notebook usually lay the mundane gestures, the immobile step of everyday life, so they can be gathered and mapped gently in the shapes of paths. Nothing new except the moment and the moment after.

It is the opportunity to "make time", to get lost in this forest, like the secular tree, which has nothing to do with our calendars. Days unfold on a whole new scale, in a mode of concentration and expansion all at once, whatever happens.

The Carp Bites

"My children and one of their friends come for a visit one Sunday, since we can travel within a 100 kilometer radius. We had lunch in the meadow, and then they went fishing at the village pond. A big carp caught the hook."

  • I continue a drawings series inspired by Japanese omikuji which are a kind of small prayers, an opinion that one asks the gods before making an important decision  even if one does not decide anything. I undertake and gather series of paper works that can be seen at home at the workshop for the time being or here
  • At the end of May, the Tarpaulin & Ropes series, which I committed to produce by joining Wolf Helzle’s Art Donation Campaign project, was completed. 
  • To create a public open space, I organize the old bread oven room and the barn to the south. It is possible for visitors to see my works on paper in the first, and in the second, my paintings. I hung a sign on the side of the road in front of our house which is not easy to find.

The Carp's Freedom

"After we admired the fish, the perfectly happy fisherman restores her freedom and gently plunges her into the dark depths of the water."

The oil colors and the process I use impose a certain slowness, a loss of time that passes. It is no longer a question of quantifying this time. It's about following the rhythm of composition, of the realization of textures, of drying, of repentances and of restarts. The canvas creates its own intrinsic universe and its own reference points to time.

  • Several canvases of which two in particular are in progress and born of this last weeks (because I happen to paint things buried in my mind for a long time). To be seen next...