Jun 4, 2020
Have you ever tried painting from memory? How did it turn out for you? Have you ever thought of a picture as a thing in and of itself rather than a memory of the image it captures? I was thrilled to get the opportunity to speak with the talented and engaging artist, Edwige Fouvry who often takes the approach of painting from memory.
Edwige Fouvry was born in Nantes, France, in 1970, and currently lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She received her Masters degree from École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Visuels de la Cambre in Brussels in 1996. She has exhibited widely across Europe and North America.
As you get to know Edwige in our conversation, I hope you catch the raw simplicity and dedication she has to bring not only her own imagination to life but the imaginations of others as well. You can catch images of Edwige’s artwork located at the end of this post.
How do you begin to paint from memory? Where would you start? For Edwige it comes down to a combination of photographs, childhood memories, and even scenes she sees in everyday life. She doesn’t choose her photographs at random, rather each image she paints comes from a place of deep connection and inspiration - the photo evokes emotion in Edwige. In many cases, a photo may hang in Edwige’s studio for years before she decides it is the right time to put that image on her canvas.
Edwige’s creative approach is fascinating, at the heart of what she is able to bring to the canvas is her cultivated attentiveness to her intuition. Most of us are trained either by our culture or by well-meaning institutions to root out our intuition. We are often taught that you can’t trust what you can’t touch, feel, test, and observe. By cutting out or dulling our deep-seated drive to explore and express what we feel, we are limiting ourselves unnecessarily. It was refreshing to hear from Edwige as she enthusiastically described her comfort in her own skin and how that approach has impacted her time in the studio. What can you learn from Edwige’s perspective?
Over the course of your career would you say that your artwork has become more complex or more simplified? As I’ve interviewed hundreds of artists over the years, I’ve found it fascinating how often the theme of simplicity and complexity arise. Edwige has honed her abilities over the years toward rooting out complexity and relying instead on simplicity and freedom to guide her creative process. Looking back at her years in school, Edwige is quick to point out that she wasn’t always the best student because she was intent on listening to her intuition and carving her own path. To her credit, focusing on simplicity has really worked out well for Edwige.