Xavier François Hussenet
I have been drawing and painting as far back as I can remember with an immediate interest to realistic details such as gothic architecture and sweeping swaths of red taffeta. I have had only a few classes in drawing and painting. I love watercolors because I am working with water over which I rarely have any control and which constantly challenges me to adapt. Nothing can replace the brilliant luminosity of paper coming through successive washes of pigments subject to the rules of water and gravity that the artist carefully orchestrates, if he is even a little successful, into an atmospheric illusion of unparalleled clarity and enchantment. There are few second chances with watercolors to correct an error without losing your principle allies, the brilliant rough texture of white paper and the spontaneity of water at different levels of dampness. Those first few washes, splatters and accidents take on a life of their own and determine the direction and focus of the work.
Now I also like to use those fantastic 20th century oil pigments, Holbein Duo Aqua (on Arches Oil Paper,) simple, direct and non-toxic oils with the most singularly brilliant pigments first suggested by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to realize what they call “fantastic forgeries.” Considering that as much as 25% of the Van Gogh catalogue is suspected forgeries, this is truly staying ahead of the curve, and introduced me to a very exiting medium inspired by an artist who said that we can never hope to copy nature, but that nature was in those precious pigments right out of the tube.
Lastly, with the advent of some spectacular artificial intelligence to replicate live, wet, moving watercolors or oils on an iPad Pro using such cutting edge long anticipated programs as Adobe Fresco, and Rebelle 3 on the iMac, I am having great personal success without ever leaving my comfort zone, the semblance of working with natural mediums.