How did you learn to paint?


One never really "learns" to paint or draw. In my case at least, drawing was never a choice but a necessity, like eating and sleeping. I had to draw. And so I did, on books, envelopes, boxes of cereal, old magazines, paper tablecloth in restaurants, even with color chalks on my bedroom floor which my father had lined in bright blue linoleum for that very purpose. The urge and ability to draw should not be confused with technique. Technique can be learned -which is why, as important as it is, it doesn't impress me much- "talent" on the other hand (ideas, imagination, fantasy...) cannot be. Of course, the more technique and experience you acquire, the more successful and enjoyable your work will be (it is easier to plant a nail with a hammer than with a shoe!) Even if you choose to discard rules, you have to know them to ignore them. I attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of California but as a shy 21 year-old French student with little command of the English language I didn’t do well. "I knew it all" -or so I thought- and dropped out. And so I learned the hard way, much later and on my own. And I am still learning.

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