Thrilled to share the stunning work of Belgium-based artist Lysandre Begijn today, along with a wonderful interview about what inspires her. Much more information at the links below!
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First, I would love to know more about you! Where are you from originally, and where do you live and work currently? What first interested you in painting?
I was born in The Netherlands. My father is Dutch, my mother a Frenchwoman. Since college I have lived in Ghent, in Belgium. My father is also a painter, and was brought up in a very creative environment. As a little girl I would sometimes join in, in the studio of my father's painting or drawing. There was there a mysterious atmosphere between the sacred images and Persian rugs. That has obviously shaped me.
Your paintings are quite abstract, but sometimes the viewer can make out a recognizable shape or face. Can you tell me some more about your work?
I have come a long way. Actually, I'm a sculptor by training, and you will always find a sculptural character in my work. My interest is to create a kind of imaginary world. Imagination, fantasy, the subconscious, intuition, and the inner mind fascinates me.
I try to create tension in the composition through shape and color. A work that looks symmetrical will never be completely symmetrical. I love disorder and organic composition.
Colors fascinate me immensely. creating combinations that are not always obvious that you keep it exciting.
Your color palette is bright, yet full of contrasts. What attracts you to these combinations of colors and form?
Color is interesting to me as it relates to other, different colors. Light with dark, or bright with dull/dirty, with intense pastels... I seem to match colors that might not immediately seem very exciting to work with on canvas. I am inspired by exotic landscapes with their motley of colored animals and peculiar forms. Or prints on materials from other cultures. Ornaments from ancient civilizations ...
What is your process like for starting a new piece? Do you plan ahead?
I prepare my canvas, giving it a background color and a layout or composition. I often start from scratch, and shapes, color and form go hand in hand, and are an intuitive choice. The painting consists of layers. As they are "constructed," I continued until I think it's good. During the process I put the canvas in the space, and I let the work "speak." It is an interaction between me and the canvas. I react to what's in front of me.
What do you do when you find yourself feeling blocked creatively?
Read and draw. But mostly you're in a process in which you continue to work even if it is less. It's like in life, there are ups and downs...
Is there anything that you find challenging or particularly difficult about pursuing art full time?
It's a choice, and it requires persistence. And it pays off in the end; it shows conviction.
I also teach at an art school / academy as a financial security, but it is important to also keep in touch with people who create, because you are usually very isolated working in your studio.
What is the most rewarding or exciting part of pursuing your work?
Recognition. Art as a means to achieve a lofty or higher sense. People are touched, and give something.
What is the best advice you've received?
Life Is the best counselor.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or current projects you're working on?
I am currently with another artist to create a painting collaboratively, and that is a challenge because I've always created on my own. It is a project that will be shown in combination with works both him and me.
Anything else you would like to add?
Glad that there are such people like you who exist, people who are full of art! Wonderful!!
This interview was translated from Dutch.
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