I have always thought in terms of colour, medium, sensation, form.

Essentially my work aims at a spontaneous rendering of the natural world even if this sometimes requires finishing pieces inside my studio. The interaction between what I see of the outside world and the sensations generated from it is a key element and the driving-force beneath my work.

The subjects which interest me are drawn from life : I love being here involved in life. I am curious by nature and I love being able to see, looking, being astonished. I want to understand, to replenish myself with what happens to come along. When I draw I attempt to approach the essence of things by trying to recreate them. “It is only through my work that I really get to see” said Giacometti.

I use a technique handed down by our ancestors – pastel and charcoal on paper – which I have adapted and reinvented to suit my own particular needs.

When I left Art School, I worked with oil paint. I then moved on and started looking for a new medium which would offer the same qualities of depth, colour, variety of material, possibilities for texture – grainy or matt, transparency, and layering of colours fluid and delicate at one and the same time.

Using pastel, I found that I no longer had any of the technical difficulties associated with handling oil paint nor did I have to wait between coats.

Pastel means that I can execute a piece both extremely quickly and anywhere I like. I have found a technique which gets straight to the point and which allows me to advance without encroaching upon my own inspiration, my creative force and my initial lightness of touch and where any intellectual willpower is held at bay. This all requires concentration, a feel for what is in front of me, instinct and a sure hand. This means being fully acquainted with my technique so that I know exactly what I am doing thus encouraging the creative process.

Solving the main problems attached to pastel has meant long years of experimenting with the medium and I would still like to go further and broaden my approach as pastel has proved to be just as challenging as oil paint, perhaps even more so and my own difficulties have increased proportionally because of the large formats which I use. As a direct result of this, the pastel I apply has a tendancy to reach saturation point more quickly and alterations to a piece are therefore limited. Colour is built up on the paper via successive applications of the pastel, which, it should be remembered, is a powder and therefore volatile and then finally fixed. Unlike oil paint, the palette is never used.

What I also love about pastel is its softness and its unique velvety qualities. It also has a particularly long life, despite what most people think, simply because it is composed of pure pigment contrary to oil paint. Its light paper support is equally a pleasure for me. And finally, its apparent fragility is something which I love about.

Anne Malvy


© Anne Malvy ­ Tous droits réservés