The Colour – The Light – The Shape

The Colour – The Light – The Shape

On a spaced-out composition, « spurts » of sun.

On a spaced-out composition, « spurts » of sun.

It is an organic feature,
within the rythm of a structure and of a mighty shape
through th espace of a bright transparency.

Then, through the vivid and magnificent colour
especially with the use of contrast
and the acute flawlessness of the harmonious movement,
the vibrancy of the radiant components comes forth.

The spatial beauty of the parts
scatters itself the way the bow wraps around a cluster of stars
the foregroung shapes of which sway in a deep motion.

The matter breathes the air of a space,
as smooth as a mother-of-pearl and as vivid to the eye.

It shines like a celestial star
an dit dazzles the depth of a feeling
as does the pictorial time the dream has stopped for a short stint,
shaped by an itinary on the great silences of the vast figures.

From now on, some creations shining among the golden springtime
rest enclosed within the huge quivering setting of the empty canvas,
secretly evolving so as to become hospitable,
heady with a running gamut well provided with solid colours.

Joy, happiness and life seep through the colour, the light, the shape…
like a song as a rendition of what stems from heart and imagination.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
« La Batelière » Studio, Varennes
April 1st, 1994

The « Tourennes » of the Winds

The « Tourennes » of the Winds

A blazing polychromatic sculpture made of high-voltage pinewood fiber escapes from balance to put forward the pleasure and imaginative precision of a eurythmy subjected to the consistent desire.

to put forward the pleasure and imaginative precision
of a eurythmy subjected to the consistent desire.

to translate a young universe this way, like a jubilatory celebration.
Hence the coloured sign, to the rythm of the haunting universe
within which the volumes mix with the primary colours,where each painting must assert the utterly supreme beauty and implies a range that spans beyond the everlasting worlds…
inasmuch as :
through a contemorary world vibrating with emptiness and space,
on a background of mirrored togetherness,
made able to explore an « opaline » substance
from all sides of the flat surface
that goes through light and as carnivals are laid out
through a tangent plane, out of colours and shapes
so glitteringly sculptural.
they escape through viviv reds, yellows, blue-greens and blacks.

It is in a superb merging into one another, made magic already
with colours intended to reach for
the tangible and the degree of spatial, dynamic magnificence,
that a standing structure strenghtens the motions,
to the heights of a poetic and theatrical incline.
The musical shapes can clearly escape…
beyond the boundaries of the eyes, up to the soul and the realm of the dream.

The impassioned inner vibrations of the flowering lines
are responsive to the motion of an internal strutured surface.
They simultaneously act in vertical stripes : black, white,
melt all mergings with space and universe,
undoubtedly give some fullness between metamorphosis
and tones the solid coloured surfaces shape,
the curvature of the components and the object,
sensible to the whole of the sculpture, hold forth.

In the same way as a heady plastic euphoria
the edge surges harder and sharper yet.
It’s under steadiness, the marking out of the long universal lines
the movement of which draws up on the solar angles of the arched wood…

at the same time, the sculpture harmoniously stresses
the vivid colourful reliefs.
It asserts the amount of physical rationality, the shapes
and arranged sonority of which are embodied
in the whole in a tangible way.

The movement aims at a full harmony
for an echo from childhood to be heard and towards
a spellbinding journey
where the imagination draws its strenght from,
on the interplay volumes and hearty colours enter into
like a permanent presence of a song.
The one from the passion of the innermost ire for the pleasures of love.

An energetic drift runs across the whole of it
and the fervent feeling experiences the magnitude of lines,
be they straight or curved :
frenzy of the extatic joy from perpetual deep colours.
There stands out a shift within the « sudden path of flight »
the fleeting eye drives in motion from having
on each side caught sight of
its play of shapes pieced out amidst
the geometrical planes,
and a further shift stemming forth out of
a seemingly multiple painting
where the parts are facing one another
in an eremetical peacefulness
from which surge the sheer sensory « teeming colours »
the strongest entrancing tones of which
split asunder the smooth surfaces of the volume
according to the three dimensions,
whether bright or fancied.

The interspersed gaps that cling to the whole
of the plastic-oriented shapes
the brillance of which blends into newly sprung flowerings
while the eye reads the delicate rythms within the reliefs
and the lines coming in and out of such depth.

The impact is increased in a series of alternations
within the mirroring light
so that sturdier and bulkier be the whole.
The transmutation of the components
and some sectional assemblages
lead to an extremely precise completion.
and everything comes out to its absolute fulfilment
within the moving vertical structure
through a purely formal secret dance towards the sun
where the flowing palpable colour soars.

Imaginary « volumes » intricately blend with the body of bright shapes
when an almost magical jubilatory air, of angles and relations,
is laid down in a colouring spell.
a perpendicular section sings all over as it girds the sculpture around
with the purely plastic look of its delicate fullness.

It is through the depth of a circular flow
applied on its simplified surging angles,
the mighty stature of which finally rules over the space…
though the light be under the sway of the eye
and the life span lie close by,
like a conical body throughly instilled with air and blood
to be converted into the sedimentary metamorphism…
of a likening,
the outcome of such a ratio of angles
beyond any strictly gladiolated language wheelwoork,
underneath which the « sculpture-object » is to be seen
with its rounded up and squared out shapes.

The colour revivals slowly come up to alter
the metaphysics of surrealistic dream-laden constructs.
We are here facing a tremendous discovery
where plastic thoughts do breathe,
and, in the midst of an eruptive substance, the random escape
of a scaled-out instant
a balance felt for but a stint
and the birth of stern lines that unfurl,
as if a composed stance were to warrant the angular optical
outcome to encompass a spreading out of strength

plays and hits in full heart and like a spur slithering into the body.
the sculptures stand fast against the forceful winds of the weeks…
under the works of a strict conduct aimed at being widened
under the works of a strict conduct aimed at being widened
up to a free system to keep in line the most fugitive violent feelings,
but, like a captivating object,
lost amidst solar joys keeping the promise of a blinding quality.

As a dream of quietness brings to light the blue of the ego at stake,
the expanded yellow streak circling the sunny morning
lenghtened like a sunflower
in full span but wrapped in an extensive plainness, this dream is a fountainhead of greater a warmth than the loving heart,
to the magnetic flow of a strange experience, as penetrating
as trodden through.

Which expects everyone to catch sight of, sense and, while being imbued with,
to reach to the basic sources within a colouring woof,
rumbling on an other star in such a way
as to make its curves dazzingly spurt
to smoothen up the time that rushes backwards
and to assess in there the very high and moving optimal shrewdness
with an eye to the glow of a new world.

Thus, a section that sparkles as fire does and the vividly expanding mind
upon which the eye quickly rests :
through the bright flame-ripened blinding play.
It is the metamorphosis which,
glorified through a series of right angles posted on the lookout,
gives the unsettledness its floating look, to the setting of time,
in front of an unreal volumetric construct.
an imaginary world for an instant makes
the whole gamut of its surrounding feelings come the full circle.

White sculpture flowering in the midst of the day,
it embodies the dream, unbelievable as well as highly formal,
which sings to the magnificence
and which mostly, as children do,
aims at grasping things with both hands, with an equal eagerness
to witness, within the off chance balance of a process,
such a thing of beauty achieved in such a way.

The sculpture grafts shapes
and etches the landmarks of the vibrating colours
with the help of time, the inaudible far away vibrations beat time
within the dreamer’s… meadows.
It slashes time and space into the movement
of a perfect polychromy
to transform its sun within the work,
on the modulation of the edges while shaping the early stages of the chords
in the midst of the joy and the blue tinted meadows
of its palms kept in memory
harmoniously as above the day or the time that breaks off.
The light emerges from it, filled with happiness,
and being hypnotic it sways
according to the rythm the artistic beauty of the line is toned with.

it is life seen in a new way, slicing through the fears
across their sparkling wake, on the sea of freedom.
some unceasing sculptures give the impression there is a volume
within the range of the original beauty,
wrinkling the motionless substance of its mysterious structure
which requires the gleam from thousands and thousands of strange shapes…
through the channels of imagination.
The sculpture links the silences to the magnetized feast of the constellations
in a luminous ray,
to draw out of the random sharpness
a formal or spatial relation as a creation
somewhere between the movement and the colours in their infinity.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
« La Bateliere » Studio
Varennes, July 1992

Presentation of my latest 1987 paintings

Presentation of my latest 1987 paintings

I want to open a visual field, A swathe to cut through the solar space The way the light clears its path to play on the shores of now. jouant sur les rivages d’aujourd’hui.

Pretty much in love with the fullness of the movements,
The flamboyant colours are bursting with joy into motion…

The rythm wraps around the shapes
On a renewed space
As this moment of powerful freshness
Wafts prominent and strong
Like the breath of a seaborn wind…
And, within the vibrating structure of the whole,
The colours, in full joyful smoothness,
Have wings ready for taking flight !

The moving surface has
a sensitive and delicate balance :
From emotion… and silence.

These meanderings are brought to light by the eye
In the very substance of the colour
Every part of the whole takes its shape from.

These places are my architectural constructs…
Beyond the infinite-surfaced time
Where the duration of the sun is planned.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
March 27, 1987

Disclosure and discovery

Disclosure and discovery

When a new painting is deemed to be at its purest and brightest, harmoniously built with the beauty of an integrated whole and lit all over thanks to its components.

When everything is adventure of the mind
and that, way within the darkness, the light speaks
of the third dimension that holds tight inside the motion
space pours itself out with.

The realm of amazement is rife with heartful constructs
on intimate erosions of the feelings
within the interstellar coloured substance
between the balanced stars.

When space is filled with joy-generated action ;
the strenght of the colour glimmers
as it structures the vivid distance.
The all-dynamic vibrancy reaches time’s cosmic dimension.

The bursting out is decisive as it borders the soul
and would be in the magnitude of an in-depth surge
and of its hypnotic power.

the joys in painting are of many colours.
and boundless is the glitter.

with love, to paint without saying anything with words,
progressing forever within light,
tracing its lines on the whiteness of the substance.
The painter, quivering with pleasure or with fear
breathes at the colours as if he were at the sources of the dream.

the painting is left to glitter,
in the mysterious silence of the morning.

In the maze of the ruby reds and the golden yellows,
through the frenzy of the deeper colours and
the blue tints of a broken sea.

The planes-angles wrap themselves into syncopated rythms
around the flapping of the shapes, the architectonic dimension.

a stridency vibrates above the lines
on its way to melting down in us.

the eye escapes from the muddled night streaking to the sun,
crossing the face of the time that is
and in its tangle,
shines a pictorial structure, blazing with a cristallized fire
the greatness of which rises in its native might.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
Sunday, August 22, 1993



Through the graceful drift of the line…

sonorous is the black
on the circular shore
where the sun
follows the light
which does follow the air
and the chants
like a magical
wake of daylight.

Jean-Paul Jérôme

Some early 1986 painter’s considerations on his acrylics on dressed cardboard and fabriano papers, 1986

Some early 1986 painter’s considerations on his acrylics on dressed cardboard and fabriano papers, 1986

As the cardboard merges with the solid coloured shapes of the painting it gives hold to, its sensitive texture is brought to life not only through them but also and at the same time by the structural latticed paths left untouched in their midst.

The sheer whiteness of the paper encompasses the shapes it slices through and makes more vibrant yet the whole of the area they span through with a pulsating rythmic upsurge. The gesture can now lead a life of its own, aiming at higher goals, within the boundaries of its writing where it hinges on itself to finally settle between the latticed stripes and the bulk of the varied shapes.

At the same time and in a similar way, the colours are made alive according to the rythm of the overall structure they draw their shapes from, the outcome of which gives birth to a musical feeling as if surging from the staff of time… A total alchemy now pervades everything as the formal poetry of the dream is brought about by the almost magical ability to keep the light enclosed within this framework.

Beyond artistic technicalities, accurate craftmanship and work of nature, the whole of the painting is a love song, an Ode to Beauty : it now achieves the performance of an absolute harmony. It enjoys one of the distinctive features of art, that is the timeless wanderings the eye is enticed by to its exultation.

Out of the clayish tones in their midst, an emerging nocturnal presence is about to take off and, once again, the shades of them it boards sail within the silence of a loneliness that streams towards the so very dense cosmic universe of an imaginary world. Instead of being an illustration of it, everything according to the span and sideview of this structured world endlessly takes shape. The absolute magic spell of far away places pours in… I stand in awe, listening to their rythms. I stand in awe, overwhelmed by the music that prompts me to love, to love along the lines I have to give way to as a painter.

Jean-Paul Jérôme 86

The mystique of colours, 1990

The mystique of colours, 1990

The mystique of colours replicates the invisible cosmic gamut

– as time goes by –

of an inventive geometry contributing to the volume
and to the rounded off meanders.

The chromatic abstraction
– beyond its variegated stained-glass gleam –
transcends the vibrancy, quiverings and glitterings
the figurative painting cannot reach
for its consistency, cadence and unity
that encompass a sensibly delineated domain within the realm of creation.

Like a springtime
blooming with an aerodynamic plastic afterwave
and like a pure embodiment
in the joy of the rythm and the breadth of this whirling shape.

Out of the moment’s bright miscellanies,
a limpid duration of the all-inclusive writing evolves
and out of the balance of the colours on the black backgrounds,
from the magic of its imaginary metamorphoses.

The structure that pervades the whole is the plastic subject
where the latticed arches of the dream are strewn like moving blades.
Thus, the complementary lodes of the colours slither amidst
the substance they dwell in and put into motion.

The painting is what the time is made of,
a magic bond with time.

Jean-Paul Jérôme, r.c.a.
August, 1990

Painting is... Varennes, 1991

Painting is… Varennes, 1991

Painting is the presence of a permanent harmony to me, dwelling at the very core of the « realm of the sacred » and of the love for the colours to come…

With all its native might, its huge cut out « arches » similar to monumental vaults thrown over universes, this way of painting bursts open to joy as it changes into a world of magic.

From blacks to reds, through its sources, its pulsions to build a new world in the midst of the vibrant colours, through its gyrations beyond time, the voyage soars to a more lyrical level and, for a time, the eye escapes from the screams surging from the heart and the soul. The sheer abstraction, with its volumes through which the solar machinery is strewn all over, delves in a daylike manner into the glassy substance.

The halted time finds itself dancing on space; the present and the past put their stances into action within the rythms and the meanders of the shapes. The wonder shines from the solar radiation and encompasses the whole, spreads on the prismatic shards facing the eye, and makes a racket within the canvas… shaking adrift, by the same token, the surfaces previously made solid with colours.

The invention is formal and its shapes set within a language that rings around nothingness, among deep layers of minutely painted colours.

In the midst of the obsessive circles, the movement ceaselessly whirls and whirls again. The black lines are drawn with a ruler and a pair of compasses but the mind phrases and feeds the fire of infinity to set the rhythm and stretch itself over the timelessness of the white brightness.

Like the elements feeling drawn one to another, which enhances the rite with their framework, a bright stained-glass window surges in it up to this world where peace and love are the ultimate apex of a remembrance. And indeed, the vibrancy bears, within the folds of the movement, the soul that smacks of the Middle-Ages. The bare canvas opens on a colourless watery sky.

Such a plastic discovery lies at the very heart of a dynamic and well orchestrated improvisation for, through the gesture, it ceaselessly yearns towards the creative impulse.

The colour sings between life and dream.

It is the poetry of a Pact with the Sun.

Jean-Paul Jérôme,
« La Batelière » studio
Varennes, March 1991

Bouquet-passion, 1993

Bouquet-passion, 1993

A wooden cut out painted sculpture, the only one with such a delicate fullness,

here seen wreathed in its graphic plenitude,
by a minute inversion of its black and white stripes
slicing through the volumes
according to the whims of the visual enticement.

Thus, the vigorous solid paintings
are thoroughly made pregnant with deep sweetness and sun.

The incurvations and relief
are the substance the mystery
of angles and wide shapes is made of.

the harmony evolves out of the relation
shapes have to the ones they join with,
shading themselves from space.

The urge to live opens on magnificent colours
for these itinaries are so moving
in their intended mechanisms of time
made to translate the utmost beauty of the circular gesture.


An endless variety of the volumes and of their rythms
clings to the being of a world and to a new joy
in a universe that seems to have been freed from any gravity.

Tridimensional, offering itself to all the dreams possible,
the magical encounter of the coloured surfaces
rules over a cluster of stars.
Through a gap slicing the whole of the structure,
each day lets its joy seep into the heart
as on the four or six sides, in its stance.

The bouquet mixes with the yearning that stands within
the most native border the night star is lit with.
there is a goal to the stellar poetry
and since the key is warden to the creation of dreams…

On a rhythm and on its axis, for ever,
emotions come atop the realm of imaginary worlds
the sculpture of which opens, tinted with a smattering of exoticism,
here and there amongst wide vertical stripes.

The sculpture has the looks of a sparkling structure…
and a verdant one.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
« La Batelière » studio, Varennes
January 28, 1993

I taste the colour, 1993

I taste the colour, 1993

I taste the colour of the gods through the geometrical interplay

I taste the colour of the gods
through the geometrical interplay
like the ambrosia from Mount Olympus
of the eye eaten by love
in its tightly-fitting golden yellow armour
warped with a web of blue threads
the hands are of such a marine light
as to break the cobalt apart
with red colours laid in clusters of rubies.

The arched ocean eats the golden day up
through the ropes and cables of a ship.

I taste the imagined images
a liquid out of the sun
named russet-ray
and bluish
as my country’s fabric is
or the pale seabirds’

Jean-Paul Jérôme
August 18, 1993

The sculpture grafts shapes… 1992

The sculpture grafts shapes… 1992

The sculpture grafts shapes and etches the landmarks of the vibrating colours

with the help of time, the inaudible far away vibrations beat time
within the dreamer’s… meadows.
It slashes time and space into the movement
of a perfect polychromy
to transform its sun within the work,
on the modulation of the edges while shaping the early stages of the chords
in the midst of the joy and the blue tinted meadows
of its palms kept in memory
harmoniously as above the day or the time that breaks off.
the light emerges from it, filled with happiness,
and being hypnotic it sways
according to the rhythm the artistic beauty of the lines is toned with.

It is life seen in a new way, slicing through the fears
across their sparkling wake, on the sea of freedom.
Some unceasing sculptures give the impression there is a volume< within the range of the original beauty, wrinkling the motionless substance of its mysterious structure which requires the gleam from thousands and thousands of strange shapes… through the channels of imagination. The sculpture links the silences to the magnetized feast of the constellations in a luminous ray, to draw out of the random sharpness a formal or spatial relation as a creation somewhere between the movement and the colours in their infinity.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
« La Batelière » Studio
Varennes, July 1992

Interview by Richard Barbeau, Montreal workshop

Interview by Richard Barbeau, Montreal workshop

Q : Do you still have the same degree of motivation that you had at the very beginning of your career?

A : My motivation is increasing because I am getting closer to “intuition”. Before engaging in the study of fine arts and understanding painting in particular, I went through difficult periods during which I wanted to rationalize my approach. But now, I let instinct and intuition take the lead and I really enjoy painting. Thanks to this, I am becoming more confident in my work. And after Varennes, where my pai9nting exploded into contrasting colours, I discovered what it was that I enjoyed about painting.

I used to do a lot of research to enrich myself with all kinds of different experiences, even if it meant worrying which path I should follow. At a certain moment, in the solitude and tranquillity of Varennes – I worked in Varennes for five years, the first two I had neither telephone nor television – I devoted myself entirely to my work until the day people started knocking at my door for my paintings. I wanted to make a supreme effort to discover myself, to be happy with painting, to be in harmony – me with my painting, and my painting probably with me too!

Q : You say, “I’ve found what I enjoy in painting; ca you explain this for us?

A : The great revelation is the love of colour. During my extensive research I worked a great deal with tonality, conventional shades, and values, and that drew me towards the cubist tradition. Coming to terms with colour was as if I had suddenly opened a window in which resonance, the attraction of colours were starting to come to life. Previously, I was conditioned by the painting of the past. Today, I throw myself into the unknown and this pleases me immensely. At that moment I broke my mooring and had the impression of navigating, advancing. I do not try do decide where this will lead, but I do know now what I no longer want to do, and that is to work with past memories dominated by the history of art.

We want to know everything about art history, but there comes a point when we must forget everything in order to give painting a certain freshness. This freshness is the innocence of art. I think that it is basically the love of painting. I had this before going to the école des Beaux-Arts, buy during my studies; I wanted to understand why I was working. Today I prefer to feel my painting; I prefer to live it.

Q : You speak of the pleasure of colour, by colours are also prisoners of form; do you also have an interest in form?

A : The relationship of colour certainly goes with that of forms, but the movement of forms is independent to the movement of colours. It’s a combination which happens on the surface to create a more concentrated attraction in the rapport between them – for it’s always a question of rapport. I pant as much with backgrounds as with the surface. I paint with space. It’s a need to construct a sort of architecture in space. I love to build, to construct. I have experimented with various mediums, and personally I was not particularly satisfied because I was limited in the invention of my forms. Mediums are seductive but form is an integral part of one’s culture with respect to art, painting, even knowledge. It’s an intuitive knowledge, however, and not a scientific or rational knowledge. Form, for me, is the means of being receptive to one’s feelings!

Q : Could you describe what you are currently working on? You’re using a particular technique, aren’t you? Collage?

A : For a year now I have been working very quickly using what is for me the relatively new medium of collage. I have also been painting, but with collages there are two extraordinary processes which I particularly like. I draw with coloured paper and scissors. Drawing comes naturally to me; it’s something that has developed over the years but that I put on one side because of my painting. The problem of forms with cut up paper is that the pieces can be assembled in many ways by moving them and placing them different ways round etc. The imaginative possibilities in composition are therefore boundless. There are two processes: cutting out forms and assembling them. For me, movement takes first place in my collages; everything is moving. There is a certain lyricism that develops in a geometric assembly with collage, where as in painting this can be somewhat inflexible. With collages everything moves.

Q : There’s a lot of energy coming out of all that?

A : The energy is much faster, much more powerful in impact, in the “punch’ of form, the punch’ of the discovery of the composition. It’s the impact, the shock. You have to create a tremor in the stability of things in order to be able to lose yourself, but equilibrium is always there. In truth it’s much more like diving than wanting to swim on the surface. I dive! The momentum is there!

Q : Throughout your experience as an artist, have you come to any firm conclusions concerning practice and method etc.?

A : Yes. It was in Varennes that I discovered my greatest certainty. One is always in doubt about the particular panting one is working on, but I have no doubts about the direction that I should take in my painting. I used be concerned about finding my vocation. It was a time of introspection, research, awareness, and worry, but my new painting is an affirmation as regards the unknown. One is always working into the future.

Q : Are you less anxious about trying or exploring new things?

A : I am less anxious, but I mustn’t strop working; if I stop, it worries me enormously. I have been having renovations done to my studio and it’s very difficult for me to stop working. When I was teaching, I thought I understood art. Following on from what I developed in my full time work from 1972/3, I realised that I didn’t know my painting. I had to discover it. This brought a lot more joy in the very wonderment of it. My task is no longer to explain my painting; it is, rather, to help people to love it. I think that painting is just that: it should be loved for its own sake, not in accordance with the dictates of some preconceived philosophy. I am not an advocate of a philosophy. I understand that one can have a certain concept of painting, but when one is in the act of working, instinct and intuition are very enriching. The unconscious, I you like… the unconscious after having been conscious for a long time…

Q : This liberation is therefore a kind of maturity?

A : The painting guides us. I believe that it is not us who guide the painting. We are, as it were, in thrall to something beyond us, but one needs to break through a wall before arriving at this second state. After breaking through this wall… it’s either life that helps you to break through, or some kind of shock… I was lucky enough to be the victim of something which took me to hospital, and I recovered. I completely changed. Now I accept my limits in painting. And within my limits, I have discovered something that I had not suspected concerning pleasure – the pleasure of painting really exists. There is not only the will to paint, for will is a tool serving awareness, intuition, instinct, etc. Will supports work, as long as it is imaginative and one has the freedom to express oneself. When I say “express” myself, I do not mean that I want to be expressionistic in painting, but I strongly believe in spiritual expression in art, that which perhaps gives soul to a painting. Through geometry – if it is applied in a solely plasticien way – I get the impression of doing equations. However, if one uses it as a language, freely, to express oneself, the forms actually sing, a musical sonority is achieved through colour which adds depth. I use the same gestural actions in painting as before, but my painting does not give the same result. It’s as if something has broken and enabled me to create and construct behind this break.

Q : What kind of temperament or attitudes leads a man to devote his whole life to painting?

A : I was raised in a family of nine. My parents were not in agreement with my choice of work…however, I was not prevented from going to the Beaux-Arts provided that I could support myself. I therefore worked on boats and paid for my studies that way. I liked drawing from an early age without really knowing that it was art. At the age of about fourteen or fifteen, we were invited to go to the musée de Montréal and I discovered a room that contained paintings by Van Gogh. I said to my teacher, “That’s what I want to do in life, I like colour, there’s wind in those branches, and the trees are vibrating”. He replied that air was invisible and that it was impossible. A teacher from another school was passing by. He had heard everything and asked me to repeat what I’d said. I repeated it as if it were an error that I’d made, but he said, “your visual awareness is very sensitive; develop your visual awareness and everything else will be alright”. He didn’t give me any theory; he just said to make use of my visual abilities. I am therefore visually receptive by nature. After this came studies at the Beaux-Arts to learn about art history etc. And then I was curious to go to Europe to see the artists I admired. That allowed me to discover that artists were ordinary human beings, and I realised that I could talk with them normally, telling them how I felt. I though at first that it was necessary to convey to people facts about painting, and that it was absolutely essential to study the whole history of art in order to talk about it. However, I began to realise that in studying the history of art, we could also our contact with our elders for whom I have a great admiration. I have a little more difficulty with the younger generation because my roots are more with Cézanne, cubism, Braque and Picasso. I like Bruegel’s painting. I like painting that is firm, solid. I do not particularly like painting that is accidental – though it’s debatable trying to decide what is accidental and what formal – but I do not like to be shackled with rationalism. It’s impossible for me.

Q : There is a lot of strictness of form in your work, but also a certain spontaneity!

A : There are a lot of unpredictabilities. My way of working with my collages comes from my experience in painting. In 1972, I did a series of collages in Saint-Ours. It was a bit like a premonition of something that I didn’t bring to fruition at the time. I returned to painting. As for my method of working, I like to construct the composition graphically very quickly. Then, a little likes an artisan, with a lot of patience and passion, I like to come back to my painting so that the colour is nurtured, and the unity of tone is solid regard to form and the strength of the contours. I love contours of forms, because their profile leads me to discover the backgrounds which are in unison with the floating elements. They always stand out giving a certain depth, a certain dimension, not of perspective, but in a kind of layer created by the different planes. I work with the up and down movement of forms, a bit like a fan, with the aim of encompassing the whole surface of the canvas. I don’t want my painting to be confined and concentrated in a unified mass neglecting the background. For me, everything is a flat surface in painting.

Q : Apart from the spatial side, I believe there is also a temporal dimension that preoccupies you?

A : A painting is, of course, a passing moment. One has to seize the moment, but do it with a sort of synthesis in which an emotion is not described only from the visual point of view. I like panting to portray all my experience: the desire for adventure, the desire for the unknown. That is what I call the circular aspect of space. It consists in searching for all acquired experience, all evolution, and all desire for everything new. The result is something that is closer to the cosmos, in the sense that I don’t want to pay attention simply to the temporal aspect. It’s more the idea of eternity that one tries to portray, but in one precious instant. Painting never stays the same. Time passes and we, too, change. We are in harmony with life, whether through our own personal development, through fulfilment of our capacities, or through hardships in life from which we bound back. We are always reacting to something and always contesting things. We have a way of both admiring and rejecting what we love in order to be able to belong in painting. If I admire Braque I do not wish to imitate him, and am therefore obliged to reject him. I do not reject him because I wish to banish him; I reject him to fulfil myself better. I’m asserting myself in painting a lot more there days. I would say that I assert myself very naturally, without effort, without having to tell myself that I’m looking for a style. I’m not looking for a style. Style, after all, is the man. I’m not looking for a style of painting that I can hang on to. The fact of not recalling what one is doing helps us in painting. Everything is coherent; everything follows us.

Q : What do you expect of the observer, what do you wish him to feel when looking at your painting?

A : I like observers to react emotionally and to talk when they are looking at my paintings, but I do not like talking about my paintings with them. I’ll talk about art, but not about my paintings. I like my paintings to provoke conversation. The painting itself doesn’t speak, but it makes people speak about it. We often hear people say, “modern painting doesn’t say anything”. For a painting to speak, one must hear it; and to hear it, one must familiarize oneself with it. You need some cultural background to appreciate abstract art. Abstract art is not the portrayal of an outside event, or of a subject, a theme, or object. It is the inventive process of the artist, with the autonomous characteristics of art: form, colour, space, medium and the rapport between these. Our predecessors simplified painting. The impressionists captured the passing moment. I love Cézanne because he built time into his painting. His roots were in nature and figuration, but he moved towards the abstract. The cubists accentuated abstraction; Mondrian defined it in a more rational manner, more categorical, along with the Russian painters, Malevitch Popovov and many others. We ourselves have inherited a North-American style of painting. We are not exactly French, and not really American. We are, however, of European culture. I’m a lot closer to Copenhagen, or Denmark, painters such as Mortensen, Herbin or certain plasticien painters. I’ve adopted the architectonic family of painters. I strongly believe in formal beauty, inhabited by feeling. Someone always finds something in your painting that you hadn’t even noticed. The spectator is very important. I am very attentive to those who look at paintings and I like to listen to what they are saying. Even if they don’t have the correct vocabulary to express what they are trying to say, they give a personal meaning to what is in front of them. I call that “sensing” the thing. Instead of seeing it, they sense the composition. That is what I find interesting.

Les grands-reliefs de bois peints

Les grands-reliefs de bois peints

The written reliefs allow us to think the universe of things at the source of the soul that appears in the space.

Ils sont le départ des formes rassemblées en un jeu donné, pour une fête des yeux par une intuition diffuse et profonde.

C’est pour la masse rigoureuse d’un tout que se tranche d’un coup le contour des formes et o๠les effets réalisent ce monde de l’inattendu dont l’empreinte dans la substance des matières laisse sa marque fantastique la plus vive.

Produire l’image dans cette aventure monumentale est l’oeuvre de création, comme d’une expression à  l’accent sonore de la terre et du sacré.

Le véritable mouvement est spirituel et immédiatement pour une puissance graphique dans l’exécution du geste en étant parfait pour la plastique des formes et sur le plan des rythmes cohérents de la peinture instantanée.

Au-dessus du goût en filigrane des signes, les nombreuses constellations des contours y dessinent les lignes cosmiques de plusieurs coloris dont les registres des contrastes sont flexibles à  la nécessité d’une joie des teintes et de sentir la vie se répandre, en tous sens, sur l’oeuvre, qui s’accomplit.

Cette transcendance est analogue à  la géométrie dressée au centre des grands espaces, comme si les surfaces cachées se prolongent dans les éléments formels des reliefs pour une construction matérialisée et uniquement poétique de la composition d’un objet renouvelé dans la rêverie d’un art de vivre un monde spirituel o๠la création rayonne.

Une part du hasard surnaturel trouve le chemin et le risque c’est-à -dire de l’imaginaire d’un jeu pour devenir la base de nombreuses découvertes dans la construction jalonnée de sentiments artistiques.

Parfaitement comme un objet rituel qui n’est pas prévu, le relief témoigne du mystère avec son côté sculptural et son côté architectural qui s’unissent.

C’est par l’envoûtement dans la correspondance lui-même du mouvement à  celui des rythmes que l’équilibre des volumes plats et géométriques, tels un corps physique sculpté, est l’instrument de l’oeuvre qui transparaît au travers d’une harmonie au ton enjoué – sur toutes ses phases.

Les plans des panneaux sont la division à  rendre le caractère uni des couleurs par l’agitation plus palpable et la superposition animée de cette monumentalité organique.

Une expansion de l’esprit semble la transmutation des collages de papier qui, de la peinture, sont les forces occultes à  la transformation, pour les grands reliefs, surtout par la voie de l’indicible en soi, dans le langage du coeur et de l’âme, perceptible dans un rêve du bâtisseur fasciné par le mystère et le secret, selon l’ordre plastique, de son invention, à  choisir une sorte de désir et le mieux, d’élaborer un relief, comprenant des merveilles divines de construire un monde.

Une oeuvre est inspirée par la beauté des couleurs et des formes une succession de signes entre le céleste et la terre dont les yeux viennent y relire les profondes tensions universelles des sentiments dans le domaine des arts, d’une peinture nouvelle, tant pour la densité que pour la nécessité d’une harmonie.

Par delà , les tensions internes de la nature et de la pensée ne font qu’un avec des éléments plastiques qui entraînent la progression et le développement dans tous les sens de la masse comme un chant « fabuleux » apparenté aux verts somptueux des forêts, au bleu de la mer d’une extraordinaire puissance ou au revêtement des tons roux et à  la nuance de l’ivoire brunie des diverses zones qui se dilatent dans un cosmos à  l’infini et de l’éclat d’un ciel qui s’offre immédiatement, en tout le plus élevé de toutes choses.

Une émotion spirituelle et sonore o๠l’inspiration lutte de façon à  accroître le sentiment de la beauté et de la dissonance à  cette juxtaposition d’une forme de vie o๠s’affirme et s’accorde la mesure d’une teinte parfaite à  l’accomplissement profond.

La couleur est un univers en soi, et la forme est l’essence intime de la pensée, avec l’esprit des idées, avec ce monde des formes.

Une ligne affirmée sépare l’objet dans une naissance d’une combinaison des tons à  travers un espace et comme les passages magiques à  l’extase sont quelque chose qui largement structure cet objet en un signe tout aussi graphique d’une révélation, comme davantage le jeu et la voie des contrastes.

Le relief moderne a la vie sacrée dans un style qui rappelle l’ampleur en haut-relief sculpté et polychrome un monde de vertige et de passion dans le sillage primitif et sauvage, mystérieux et humain. Il se cristallise sur l’élan créatif et la construction de l’espace.

L’évocation d’un passage magistral de la beauté millénaire et polychrome – dans un ensemble architectural – descend dans la lumière sur le travail d’aujourd’hui dans toute sa grande sérénité de la couleur – à  l’aplat.

Le temps o๠les pierres teintées pétillent de mystère, le grand-relief accueille la vie sur un sol étrange, dans les lignes des choses orchestrées en pleine extase de la couleur, donc dans le sens intérieur d’un monde verdoyant et solaire o๠les rouges déjà  s’ajoutent et y sont aux songes magnifiques d’une plus étonnante maîtrise de la main en ce fruit du coeur pour une médiation en cours sur l’heure qui passe…

L’ampleur de la lumière changeante enfonce une ombre effilée dans les motifs des ouvertures et elle coupe cette épaisseur de la surface en une construction colorée en même temps par le mouvement entre les formes bien charpentées par la mesure optique de l’exaltation nouvelle.

Ce sont des plans paisibles dans les champs de blé en des lieux cosmiques à  l’échelle de la terre et des forêts de la nuit comme d’une architecture solide et suspendue dans le violet d’une création comme d’un monde optique et de l’opium des sens.

L’espace se brise en éclats sur un fond devenu sans âge et très beau à  saisir la grâce rustique et ruisselante de l’ombre et de la lumière.

Les angles séparent sans cesse les rythmes plus manuels dans l’espace peint qui dans les contours segmentés de la couleur et de la beauté du mouvement des formes, en refaisant des ouvertures dans les plaques de bois, pour ainsi bâtir des infiltrations lumineuses d’une grandeur splendide d’une plus belle jeunesse, puis y construire divers profils dans le coeur de l’image et celui de changement du moment.

Telles les mutations à  l’égal d’une surprise qui échappent aux symboles, entre les sentiments et les échos intenses de faire appel aux souvenirs – les grands reliefs s’approchent sur le chemin de la rêverie o๠la passion retient une grande énergie de libération.

Une telle surface devient nouvelle, elle reste au premier plan et demeure ouverte sur un espace de mystère et elle sculpte les choses, une vigueur d’exploration partout o๠le relief passe dans les flots trempés des couleurs et le plein courant des silhouettes opposées au vide du noir de la nuit, le sillage est une vie du jour et du mouvement enchanté par o๠la matière des bois peints dialogue avec l’imaginaire.

Les volumes apparaissent sur de grands modules découpés dans les panneaux dont les formes en palmettes sont très considérables, pour les raisons fondamentales des choses.

La construction est mouvementée car dans cette masse des émotions émergent et se trouvent aux sources de la vie entre des plans enchanteurs dans un temple aux objets des merveilles des couleurs o๠les éléments se déplacent parfois sous le regard – avec le peu d’une telle dualité.

Le fait de relief frappe comme un monument logique de la divinité et dessine l’éventail des formes en des profils o๠se divise la ligne du rêve, dans la réalité métaphysique entière, comme dans une construction structurale unique et spatiale.

La perfection replace dans l’ordre une plastique des plus flammée aux ondulations des formes et des motifs dans les imbrications des plans o๠les couleurs rappellent une relation avec la nature, ici les pierres, le sol, la forêt, l’air, les bois, le sable doré, la beauté, le pur instant de la vie – mais la vie retournée aux racines pour regarder une création de couleurs émaillées d’une grandeur.

Le champs balayé des travaux composés est puissant et chromatique et y respire la lumière des teintes en se réfractant sur le côté des formes abstraites: là  de telle façon à  lui rendre vie dans ses images mentales qui sont une transparence encore visible à  l’intérieur des vibrations et par la splendeur matérialisée se déroulant sur des métaphores de l’énergie rupestre d’une architecture à  l’échelle d’une sculpture crénelée des jaunes, des bleus, des verts et des rouges; des murs et vergers.

Des panneaux à  la marche rituelle, o๠le mouvement agit inlassablement et trace, en souligne son chemin pour insister sur les vides et les pleins de la peinture.

Les contrastes en place accordent l’inspiration. Le mouvement nous révèle les plus mystérieuses forces entrechoquées et gouvernées par l’imaginaire d’une innovation, menant à  la fois aux émotions et aux sources de la splendeur.

Cette mouvance est l’envol des silhouettes sur la cohérence d’un « relief-peinture » dans un rythme secret sur un ciel des couleurs.

Voir est le fait privé de l’oeil et d’un peu de surprise beaucoup plus accentuée.

Ainsi, la plénitude est une sorte d’harmonie pure et forte qui respire de son souffle dans les vents invisibles d’une allégresse qui se prolonge sans limite.

Les jalons du coeur travaillent au temps de l’art o๠se mêlent les yeux sensibles sur le sol intérieur d’une oeuvre assez étrange.

Des ensembles verticalement sans doute, rectilignes dans l’assemblage des formes sur la vaste, surface s’imposent avec la rectitude parfaite de la composition des reliefs et par la juxtaposition plastique des courbes flottantes et détachées en douceur, évoquant beaucoup un monde architectural et la création massive d’une sculpture avec la polychromie des teintes.


Les reliefs paraissent d’une beauté colossale à  la pointe d’une sculpture enchantée, par le magnétisme envoûtant des assemblages avec la finesse des couleurs. Les panneaux rappellent les silhouettes aux teintes innombrables des effigies plaquées sur un fond plat.

Différents plans superposés organisent les surfaces pour le passage intense de la lumière changeante et l’éclat de la forme précise.

Les ombres en creux complètent la position et la disposition elle-même des grands-reliefs dans une plastique d’abord et ceux des mouvements.

Un souffle nouveau se joue sur les imbrications de plans en chevauchements visibles.

Lentement se construit l’objet monumental, à  la fois dans l’espace et dans le mystère de la beauté, et de ce qui est le volume plat dans cette matière fibreuse.

C’est la plénitude d’un monde panorama de couleurs à  saisir par les yeux de la fraîcheur spirituelle.

Comme d’une écriture intacte, dans les accords harmonieux, de la pensée qui vient faire l’image imaginaire et jaillissante en une des merveilles de l’art saisissant.

Les masses silhouettées au goût des angles précieux du bâtisseur sont dans la création sur l’énergie, par un éblouissement de l’enchantement du cosmos et de la terre.

Ce besoin de franchir un croisement sans fin avec la magie permanente d’une oeuvre. Comme un vaste espace soigneusement à  l’échelle d’une belle montée à  la découverte audacieuse d’une ampleur joyeuse. Déjà  sous le feu de la lumière, les constructions colorées des grands-reliefs assurent la joie et le goût particulier pour un hymne chanté du coeur…

Jean-Paul Jérôme
5 avril 2002

Mireille... text on the artistic work of Mireille Levesque, 1992

Mireille… text on the artistic work of Mireille Levesque, 1992

Jean-Paul Jérôme enjoyed writing about the work of this artist whose studio was next door to his own in Varennes

Text presented in the original language of the artist (french).

You may want to use your favourite online translating tool…


De la création à l’expression
du vert, du bleu, au brun de la terre,
comme sont les rouges successifs
d’une tache à l’autre, au cœur de la création d’un langage organique dans un lyrisme ténu,
la peinture de Mireille Lévesque
sait conduire au rêve.

Son parcours reflète la tension spatiale.
C’est d’une continuité répétitive de petites formes ponctuant de plus larges ensembles sur un fond de peinture moderne,
que d’instinct elle s’accroche à l’épreuve
d’une nouvelle félicité dans un art de l’espace.

Des moments sans rupture, dans la pure ondulation, sur une toile immobile
mais d’où la ronde folle en mouvement
brouille l’espace du jour, du soir ou de la nuit, en
cadence sans cesse d’une grande émotion.
La division optique du mouvement
s’appuie sur la composition par la couleur
dans les rythmes répétitifs,
car dans les chocs d’empâtements,
la fougue créatrice coule
aux sources d’une aventure tactile .
Ainsi une figuration du tableau
nous apparaît si grande
que le tourbillonnement est cosmique et,
que d’étonnement, la lumière plus liquide.
Ce monde pictural est au centre
d’une fécondité de la nature
et d’une présence éprouvée, sans équivoque d’une terre brûlée
jusqu’à l’orange des plages claires
dans la plénitude colorée.
Une densité d’être d’aujourd’hui.
La multiplication est vitale, ici;
elle construit à travers le noir e
t cette disposition imaginée
des papiers collés un peu mieux
en toute métamorphose,
les profondeurs changeantes
d’une partie de la toile.
Elle laisse la couleur s’en exhaler
parfaitement analogue à nos yeux.
Ce jeu opère dans l’espace les rythmes plastiques, en
glissant les contrepoints sans bruit et,
d’une eurythmie, remonte une douce
et sereine gamme de couleurs.
Aller à la peinture, cela suppose un sentier pour recueillir un monde.

La peinture touche et martèle en lumière,
les arbres égarés et son, fleuve,
dans son jardin à profusion,
dans toute sa force et sa personne.
Des toiles sur des matières et des formes
à habiter dans lesquelles la lumière circule.
C’est la fine répétition des taches.
Une surface soumise à la loi d’un rythme intérieur, d’une vision plénière
et l’émerveillement d’une poésie
comme la perfection d’une unité et du désir.

La main conjugue un élan
dont la gestualité conduit à des pointillés,
avec l’harmonie d’une palpitation,
dans une matière ardente et fraîche, plus diluée
comme l’eau vivante et le feu.
Ce qui se balance dans l’épaisseur des verts
resplendit et luit dans l’espace d’un matin.

Les étoiles se nouent toujours
dans la fusion de deux couleurs
qui paraissent pétrifiées du fond de son silence
où se mêle miraculeusement un ciel de nuit.
Les surfaces s’étirent en parallèle
avec le temps et l’espace autre.
Telle la rêverie qui colore la substance et la
magie du rayonnement, du monde …
alors qu’une toile lentement se nérisse de
faisceaux qu’une durée vivante
ouvre d’un geste résolu dans l’air et le sol, la
splendeur en transparence,

les zones qui filent et qui se frangent, comme d’une retombée scénique,
en lignes brisées,
une ronde en vert lumineux,
aussi sonore des arbres et des prés,
la toile traduit les jardins
d’une œuvre qui se réalise.

Elle exprime la matière insondable qui
s’accorde à la découpe des signes
et de la couleur,
au besoin de la lumière et
des réminiscences des rythmes
chargés d’enfance.

Jean-Paul Jérôme
Atelier de « La Batelière »
Varennes, 9 octobre 1992

Photo : Mireille Levesque, Le soleil a rendez-vous avec la lune, technique mixte sur papier, 1992, 100 x 71 cm

Visit Mireille Lévesque at