1970s - SUDAN: KHARTOUM ART SCHOOL (I)
In the educational program of the Khartoum art school, students used to leave the school for three or four weeks in watercolour trips in different regions of the country. It was a moment of confrontation with new landscapes and new social environments. During the watercolour trips students, discovered new regions but they also discovered themseves, their potential and their limits.
The first time I saw the sea in «Sawakin trip» it seemed too vast and too blue to be captured in a small sheet of paper! I found shelter from the overwhelming immensity in the coral buildings of Sawakin.
1970s - SUDAN: KHARTOUM ART SCHOOL (II)
Thousands of kilometers separate my Sawakin watercolour on the Red sea cost (1973) from the Jabal Marra landscape of Galol in the western Sudan(1974). The mountain landscape seemed to be more in the painting «habits» than the sea scape of Sawakin .The watercolour trips remained a real valuable experience to all artists who passed by the Khartoum art school.
1980s - SUDAN: THE NILE MILITARY ZONE
In 1981 during a short visit to Sudan, I went to« Jabal Awliya » to make watercolour landscape of the Nile with my friend, the painter Albagir Musa. We were not aware that we were sitting in a military zone. A soldier holding his AK47 came from nowhere and told us to leave: This is a military area ! he said. There was no sign, no building, no military installation. Albagir said: if we had our AK47 we could have defended our position! We laughed and we left.
1980s - FRANCE: THE CHAMONIX VALLEY (I)
I was brought up in a flat country where you can see vanishing points of an open range in all directions.The first time I arrived in the Chamonix Valley (French Alps), I experienced the sensation of being so tiny in front of a high mountain erected up like a wall. This impressive vertical landscape reveals the forms and the lights differently. I had to learn new manners in representing the landscape.
1980s - FRANCE: THE CHAMONIX VALLEY (II)
But when winter came I found myself in a new planet with completely new visions. One morning I was working on a snow landscape when I noticed that the water was freezing on the paper. I took my painting inside where the frozen colours continued to melt. I was drinking a hot tea and observing my image painting itself in the warm kitchen.
I think I understood the words of « Wang Lu » about forgetting the previous knowledge when he came to paint the Hua Mountain : "I learn from my heart, my heart learns from my eye and my eye learns from the Hua Mountain" .(Shitao, Les propos sur la peinture du moine Citrouille-amère, Ed.Hermann,Paris,1984)
1980s - ALGER
As I toured with the dance company ballet Naïle, we stopped in Alger for a few days, so I took the opportunity to paint what I believe was a museum.
1990s - FRANCE (I)
As we settled down in France with Patrcia and the kids, our summer and winter holidays led to a series of travels. Here in Lozère.
1990s - FRANCE (II)
St Martin en Vésubie - 1993.
1990s - FRANCE (III)
Pont de Montvert (Cévennes) - 1994
1990s - FRANCE (IV)
Lans en Vercors - 1998
2000s - LE GRAU DU ROI
Le Grau du Roi was our nearest access to the sea, as well as a beautiful little town boarding the Mediterranean. We’ve been there in multiple occasions, and it gave me the opportunity to be reacquainted with more « Seaside watercolours ».
2011 - Lion sur Mer (Normandy)
2014 - NATURE MORTE
The first time we discovered the Cui-Hu Park in the center of Kunming (China), Patricia and I were fascinated by the beauty of the park but also by the intense vitality of the different groups of musicians, singers, Tai chi performers and dancers from diverse ethnic minorities of the region. It looked like an utopian dream in the middle of fragile social and cultural certitudes.
Since 2009, each time we visited Kunming we were so keen to lodge in the proximity of the park. Our day is organized according to our activities in the park: Tai Chi, dance, watercolour, seeing Chinese friends etc.
One day, I told Patricia: I think even if Mimane and Dufei leave the town we will keep coming to Kunming !
Although mostly landscapes, I’ve also tried animals watercolours in the picture book MA GRAND MÈRE EST TÊTE EN L’AIR[…] which features 12 visual riddles in French, English, and Arabic. Find this book in the online shop.