Elise Gobeil, the technique of grisaille and glaze

Elise Gobeil, the technique of grisaille and glaze

Olimpia Gaia Martinelli | Mar 29, 2023 6 minutes read 0 comments

"I have a natural aptitude for drawing, I put several years of practice into it before exploring the world of painting".

What inspired you to create works of art and to become an artist? (events, feelings, experiences…)

I have a natural aptitude for drawing, I put several years of practice into it before exploring the world of painting. Little encouraged to continue my studies in Arts, I nevertheless continued my exploration in parallel with my professional career and I never curbed my artistic impulse. I always have a good time background music and palette in hand.

What is your artistic background, the techniques and subjects you have experimented with to date?

I made my debut with acrylic which I quickly abandoned for oil because it suited my style more at the time, a mosaic made up of small juxtaposed triangles making up all the elements of the painting. Then, according to the episodes of my life, my paintings became more clear, evolving towards a more fluid image.

My paintings tell a story through a character, a dog, a cow, a horse or any object that can serve my purpose. In recent years, the theme of the environment, its manifest vulnerability, the desire and the need to protect has imposed itself. The degradation of nature is no longer a proof to be made. I make art one more medium to bear witness to this.

What are the 3 aspects that differentiate you from other artists, making your work unique?

My work becomes unique insofar as I am inspired a lot by my own experience. All the years spent in Gaspésie by the sea have inspired me, as have the events of life.

Before even addressing the canvas, I spend a lot of time thinking, I think carefully about the desired atmosphere and the elements that will make up the painting. At the end of this stage, the painting becomes a precise image that I reproduce exclusively in black and white.

My color palette is infinitely reduced, the rare colors are carefully chosen to arouse an emotion or simply to attract attention.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I don't believe in inspiration as a creative breath, some work has to be done to channel ideas into what needs to be expressed. Upstream, this allows me to make a selection from the batch of images that jostle at the gate of my imagination.

What is your artistic approach? What visions, sensations or feelings do you want to evoke in the viewer?

During exhibitions, it is customary for certain paintings to be accompanied by texts to help visitors understand what is being shown to them and guide them in their wanderings. It happens that the interpretation of a work, the category or the genre, is determined in advance by the artist whereas it is very likely that the intuitively plausible interpretation of the audience is different and much more interesting.

What is the process of creating your works? Spontaneous or with a long preparatory process (technical, inspiration from art classics or other)?

On the blank canvas, I elaborate my main subject using a soluble graphite pencil, I draw the outlines to guide me and some details. Given that I work with a rather liquid paint and that I have to wait for the material to dry before continuing, a good number of coats are necessary before a semblance of realism can be distinguished. For my part, the success of the painting depends on the concordance with the design of the departure, improvisation is not there.

Do you use a particular working technique ? if so, can you explain it?

I use the technique of grisaille and glazing which consists in applying a thin film of transparent paint superimposed on an already dry layer of paint, thus obtaining a very soft, smooth model, without traces of brushes. A real glaze on his paint! The technique that I adopted favors lines and volumes, it offers an unadorned sincerity where contrasts and light guide feelings and emotions towards the essential, and bring a form of purity. A swirl of shades of gray enhanced by a subtle layer of color, giving a timeless look.

Are there any innovative aspects in your work? Can you tell us which ones?

The painting technique has existed since the beginning of the 15th century and my work is not innovative. On the other hand, I have developed a style that is unique to me and bears my signature.

Do you have a format or medium that you are most comfortable with? if yes, why ?

I understand that large formats are spectacular, but I reserve them for special orders, mainly for reasons of space. On the practical side, a regular format allows you to turn the canvas in all directions to bring out the finest details.

Where do you produce your works? At home, in a shared workshop or in your own workshop? And in this space, how do you organize your creative work ?

The house I live in does not have enough rooms for a workshop so I settle where the presence of light is most present, that is to say in a corner of the dining room. My meticulous work requires little space and there is no risk of spills.

Does your work lead you to travel to meet new collectors, for fairs or exhibitions? If so, what does it bring you?

I'm not nostalgic for the time when solicitation was mainly through art galleries. The logistics of exhibitions abroad were often expensive and laborious. The arrival of the online service, for the artist as well as for the collector, simplifies things. The visibility provided by the Artmajeur site allows a certain influence.

How do you imagine the evolution of your work and your career as an artist in the future?

I don't know if there will be a gradual change in my approach to painting. Beyond my will, it is the events of life that decide. “Beauty” will always be a quest.

What is the theme , style or technique of your latest artistic production?

Solo Travel is an ode to love… lost or found. According to onirology, the Metro represents the unconscious. The wagons pass each other, come and go, in the foreground two benches left empty represent the couple defeated or to come. It is up to the viewer to judge whether our traveler is on the run or running towards his destiny.

Can you tell us about your most important exhibition experience?

When an opening becomes theatrical. Without being more important, it is memorable of this meeting between poet and artist in visual arts. Mutually inspired by the work of the other, twice an imposed theme brought together our creative minds, until we adorned ourselves with the same red scarf of my protagonist during the opening.

If you could have created a famous work in the history of art, which one would you choose? And why ?

Tamara De Lempicka, Madame Allan Bott 1930.

This work is quite unique for the time, the art deco can be guessed in a few lines, the aesthetics is irreproachable. The fact that she is a woman painter who has managed to impose herself adds to the fascination.

If you could invite one famous artist (dead or alive) to dinner, who would it be? How would you suggest he spend the evening ?

Boris Vian for sure. After asking him a ton of questions, I could just shut up and listen to Jazz music.

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