Still Life


Personal Statement

I must have been about ten. Easter vacation was over and we had left the countryside to return to our Parisian flat. I slowly opened the door to my room and the door to the balcony looking out on the garden. Then the emotion overcame me! At my feet lay the horse chestnut trees, green all over, shining, shaking in the wind.

I was overwhelmed by this sight, the innumerable green and yellow spots, all shiver in the light. I believe that then and there my vocation as a painter was born.

In later years, I constantly found inspiration in the ever present variations of Nature. Rambling over the countryside, I planted my easel by the side of roads and tracks: in the summertime, looking over the huge wheat fields which undulate like a sea, in wintertime under the leaden skies which come before snow, in the fall observing the rust and yellow harmonies which ever seem to naturally impose themselves on me. Witnessing the numerous and unceasing transformations of the universe, I was filled with an interior joy, fascinated, naive my senses alive.

I do not care for flat and uniform surfaces. My search is for tints, which through their superposition create a feeling of life, a differentiated tumult. A painting, which is in essence a proportion between shapes and colors, must, in order to fully impose its strength and vigor, be dominated by a major harmony.

Paradoxical though the following statement may be, it could be said that the fewer the colors, the better the painting. The multitude of small color spots, pigmentation, dots, commas and shade-offs must not diminish the whole. One must learn to limit the harmonies on one's palette in order to express oneself with strength. But above all, painting for me is the rendering of the thrill which was felt at the painting's inception.

2006 Robert Lavergne