« Je veux que celui qui regarde le tableau soit avec lui, pas avec moi. Je veux qu’il voie ce qu’il y a sur la toile. Rien d’autre. Le noir est formidable pour ça, il reflète. Les mouvements qui comptent ce sont ceux de celui qui regarde. L’œuvre vit du regard qu’on lui porte. Elle ne se limite ni à ce qu’elle est ni à celui qui l’a produite, elle est faite aussi de celui qui la regarde. » Pierre Soulages
I see my painting as a unique energy that often invades me and eventually finds its reason for being on a canvas. Every day I isolate myself in my studio. I prepare for this isolation while on my way to the studio. It is like I am in meditation and once I arrive I start the same ritual: I open the shutters and the window, I take a look at the painting that I left there the evening before, I look at it with “new eyes”, then I make a coffee, put on a piece of music, put on my “work clothes”, and sit down for a moment. I look around and allow the emotion from the day before to return so that I can pick up where I left off. Doing so is sometimes like finding an old friend with whom we were having a fascinating and authentic conversation, other times it is as if we were having an argument because I left it the day before angry, disappointed, tired of searching for a connection that simply wasn’t there. It is a relationship, I never feel alone when I paint. People often tell me that there is something disturbing in my portraits, and I myself am pleased with the comment since what I paint addresses those kinds of feelings, the upsetting and hidden ones. When I work, I allow the painting to impose itself gradually. I do not “put color on a drawing”, I work following my instinct. I do not measure the emotion. I do not want to lead the viewer on any path when he looks at one of my paintings. That is why I rarely put titles on my paintings. Once completed, the painting is no longer mine, it belongs to the viewer and he can do what he wants with it. I’m not trying to make sense of things, but to paint the feelings deep inside.
(Edited by Helga Stefansson)