Gilles Durand, Biography









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Chamechaude


GD Portrait
Artist Statement
   
I have a direct approach to painting in watercolor, trying to be true to the emotion inspired by the subject.
 
As a painter, my aim is to express the vibrancy of life simply and elegantly.
While painting, I try to stay constantly aware of the rhythm and breath in the composition, of the way light circulates in the picture plane, of how description and suggestion alternate and concur.
This highly dynamic
process, and particularly so speaking of watercolor, makes each painting an exciting adventure.


Member of  Société Française de l'Aquarelle   S.F.A.



"Membre sociétaire" of
Société des Aquarellistes Lyonnais




Société des AquarellistesLyonnais






Signature member of Institut des Arts Figuratifs (IAF)               I.A.F.


Background

O
Drawing and painting have been companions of mine since childhood, even though I practiced only sporadically. When I began to paint more regularly in 1996 while a research and development manager in the semiconductor industry, I already had a longstanding fascination for watercolor. I was then particularly drawn to the freshness, the economy of means and the strong suggestive power so characteristic of the medium and it still occupies the center stage in my work. Since 2006, the pursuit of my artistic journey has become my main endeavor.

O Mostly self-taught, I however met several painters whose advice and guidance were crucial in the shaping of my artistic approach.
The concepts underlying the way I paint obviously owe a lot to the European painters' heritage, especially the impressionists, but I also have a deep interest in the far- eastern tradition. The way Chinese painters approach composition, the dialogue between form and space, as well as the notions of breath and life force showing in the brush strokes themselves, strikes a chord inside me.

I have also been strongly influenced by modern watercolor masters such as John Singer Sargent, and among contemporaries, Charles Reid, whose direct and candid, yet very subtle
paintings I find deeply moving.

O The French Alps region, near Grenoble where I am fortunate to live, is a limitless source of painting subjects which I abundantly tap into. I also like to travel and whether on the road or near home, I always have a sketchbook handy and never miss an opportunity to paint "sur le motif" or from life. When working in the studio, using reference photos and sketches to paint from, I try to put myself in the same mindset of urgency and creative eagerness I feel when working on location.


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© Gilles DURAND