Antoine Renault and his summer inspired work
There is something in Antoine Renault’s work that brings me back childhood memories of summers. So I was really happy when Antoine replied kindly to my request and sent us his work and we gladly present it to you! Read what the artist is saying below:
I became a painter thanks to my GrandMa … and to a summer with no wind.
That was in the early 90s. I was getting on everyone’s nerves, complaining about the low winds and obsessed by the next windsurfing session I was impatient to enjoy. My GrandMa was quietly painting on the dune as usual. I was driving her nuts. She asked me to join her, gave me a canvas and a brush and I made my first piece. A great memory of a bright summer day in my beloved island, with a mixture of turpentine and pine-trees smells in the background.
Since this very first painting, summer and ocean side atmosphere have always been in my inspiration. Sunny days and short nights, dune smells, slow time on the beach, … To paint this, for me, is like sharing feelings of freedom and happiness because this is where I feel them best. I have not spent one year of my life without sailing in this bay. And actually all the key moments of my life happened on the ocean side, if not on the beach
Light and water are always in my colours. Light is my real motivation. Water is my favourite catalyst. Both are the guiding threads of my inspiration.
And most of the creative stimuli naturally come from the ocean : reflections at the surface never stop fascinating me. I can spend hours starring at the wisps of light on the sea floor . And looking upwards to distorted sunny skies from an underwater dive is probably what build the most joyful vision.
I have been lucky enough to live a couple of years in New York. This is actually where I received most of my visual shocks. I was living in SoHo, working uptown, and was a passionate photographer at that time. An amazing Van Gogh expo in 1987 at the Met left me speechless. Repeated visits at the MOMA, the Long Island work of Hopper, the wonderful watercolours of Winslow Homer became my first references. Twenty years later, I came back to NYC. I was painting for some years. I had a new visual chock at the Henoch gallery in Chelsea, NYC : Eric Zener. I knew I would try one day to paint such kind of amazing feelings.
As I am a self-taught artist, I have no idea how to explain the way I paint. I started with oil, then tried pastel and watercolour. I am painting with acrylic now. I like the simplicity of it and the fast drying time that allows more spontaneous progress. I work with a very simple palette of four quite basic colours. Finding my way through colour mixtures is part of the fun. I know I do not have any academic know-how and that it probably helps to express what I want in a more personal way.
I did my first exhibition in 2011 and it all went a bit fast since then. I realise now that painting is just a small half of the pleasure in the artistic journey: what I love most is the fantastic diversity of connections it brings, and the emotional links it generates. With followers and collectors all across the globe now, each month brings a new surprise, new visits and fantastic conversations.