Through her paintings, Cécile lends substance and form to the layers of memory that deposit in our minds, just as sediment shapes geological landforms. Her landscapes, whether imagined or re-imagined, invite us to dig deep into our well of memories, whether searching for our roots, seeking to belong, or transmitting our respect to future generations.
Working with oil, cold wax and multimedia, Cécile builds layers upon layers of color, sometimes scratching hues together, accentuating the raw quality of the canvas or wood encompassing that the enigmatic forms at the core of her paintings, sometimes called “earthly corals”: as grounded as trees, but as fluid as seaweed. Her paintings provide a window of distilled joy, vibrant hope and serenity.
Some have compared her paintings to the later work of Cézanne, who played with perspective by flattening his landscapes, distorting forms, imparting a vibrant sense of movement to his structures and inviting them to be viewed from multiple angles. Similarly, Cécile abolishes distance to invite the viewer to step into her landscapes through the colorful network of energy that unites the human experience in a single vision.
I am a French contemporary landscape artist based in Boston, Massachusetts. I grew up painting with my maternal grandmother in the Dordogne Valley of Southern France, but it was not until I was diagnosed with cancer that I returned to my brushes with renewed vigor. No longer merely a skill to be honed, painting became a way to breathe through my long convalescence. This newfound sense of mortality created an extreme urgency in my work: the catalyst to explore, learn, and to create daily with childlike curiosity.
My ephemeral landscapes straddle the line of genre, incorporating and blending various influences, including poetic realism, expressionism, and abstraction. They usher the viewer into the intensity and imminence of the present moment, outside of time and space: the “eternal present”, encompassing the moment of artistic creation while honoring the fleetingness of nature and life. Heavily inspired by Southern France, these vistas are enigmas to be solved and games to delight the mind: an invitation to join me in this quest for serenity that can exist alongside sensuous intensity.
My work is currently represented by Three Stones Gallery in West Concord, and resides in private collections in the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. I also enjoy collaborating with artists who exhibit the same playful approach to their creative process. I often paint during the dreamlike, “in-between” moments of the day: moments of waiting. Otherwise, I am likely to be teaching French at Wellesley College, where I am a Senior Lecturer, cooking, or playing tennis with family and friends.
Cézanne, Paul Cérusier, Braque, Nicolas de Stael, Ansel Kiefer, Georgia O'Keefe, Peter Doig, Pierre Bonnard, Macke,Joseph Alpers, André Derain, Wolf Kahn, David Hockney, Maurice de Vlaminck, Elaine de Kooning, Miró , Alma Woodsey Thomas, Viktor Klemperer, Viktor Frankl.
I view each piece as a puzzle of the mind that keeps me enraptured in the moment, the duration of the painting. I like to work from memory when painting the beautiful landscapes that I have been fortunate to encounter. What interests me primarily is the active recomposition of each place that I have visited and loved. It often takes surprising turns but never fails to energize my use of colors and textures. I hope the viewer will enjoy these abstract recompositions and will re-imagine them with their own memories.