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It took me almost 40 years to accept that creating art was my passion, the fuel behind my energy, and that it was most probably my purpose in life.
I was born and raised on the shores of Normandy in France, in a house full of colorful fabric pieces, sewing machines, and diverse and varied materials for arts & crafts, where I have always been encouraged to create and try new things. My passion for papers and pencils was born at that time, and I can still picture myself building boxes with old pieces of cardboard and covering them with wallpaper samples found in trashed catalogs! At 7, I used to sign all my drawings under the name “Zabé the painter”, but it took me much more time - and a successful corporate career- to realize that I could finally become one.
From Paris, where I have spent most of my adult life, to Los Angeles where I now live, I have been encouraged by my family, my friends and my husband to venture into the unknown and eventually make my artistic coming-out. And here I am!
Until recently, I was all about realism, trying very hard to capture everything I saw perfectly. I used to call myself the "counterfeiter", being able to reproduce everything I wanted whatever the medium... It was giving me a feeling of safety and control, preventing me from listening to what the true Zabé had to say. But at some point, I started to feel oppressed by what I was doing, enclosed inside me - I could literally feel it. This is when I decided to stop thinking, letting my intuition guide me and unleash my arm.
Today, my work is at the crossroads of all the influences, experiments, and values that have shaped me until now. Yet, I am constantly trying new techniques and media to fuel my inspiration and see what results. This is part of my process and what makes the style of my work a constant evolution.
I am truly fascinated by the emotions and expressions that can be read in a look or a smile. That is why, in my gallery, you'll find many portraits that are tributes to random faces as well as very famous ones, to men and women of all colors, races or ages who share two common traits: an inner strength and confidence that reflect in the deepness of their eyes or the beauty of their smiles, as well as an unconditionally optimistic outlook on the future. It’s these traits that I try to embody in myself and transmit to my two little wonders, Nour and Nael, who keep me busy with my other job of being a mom.
My work is the result of many different sources of influence, some of which originated many years ago. In no particular order: My incredibly talented Mom who filled my childhood with fabric pieces, colors, love for a job well done and appreciation for aesthetics ● The way light caresses objects and faces, changes colors and sets them aglow, plays with nuances, shadows and structures ●The delicacy and richness of faces, the profoundness of a look, the beauty of a smile ● The irresistible urge to transcribe a feeling, an emotion.
I have been experimenting with many types of media over the years, as I genuinely Iove discovering all the possibilities behind a technique. This experimentation enables me to mix media and see what can be created. My recent works display collages and acrylic paints on canvas. I also paint in watercolor, sketch with indian ink, draw with charcoal and black & colored pencils.
Arts and crafts have always been part of my life. As a self-taught artist, I have been learning by doing, experimenting, exploring new styles and techniques, and of course, observing others (confidentially!). Today, I have decided to pursue my lifelong passion of creating art.
History starts with you today!
Behind the scene - Amanda
The "Art Room", our shared artistic space
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