Today we’d like to introduce you to Blandine Saint-Oyant.
Blandine, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in an artistic family in the historical town of Avignon, France, the site of a renowned international theater festival. Both my family and the town gave me a taste for the arts at a young age and had a lot of influence on me. My exposure to the arts allowed me to dream of a larger world and was a springboard into my current life as a visual artist. But somewhat ironically, signs of my artistic potential as a young women came from outside of me, from remarks that people made about my artistic temperament before I had any idea of making art.
Due to my family circumstances, I did not have the opportunity to get an artistic training when I was young, but art grew out of me slowly and naturally. It only became a passion later in life, after I moved to the United States in 1980 and finally had the chance to study art formally in art schools. That was an opportunity that I grabbed heartily and still consider as a privilege. I have pursued the career of an artist ever since.
I am a painter and I always was. In art school, I had forays into sculpture and into performance art but my interests always gravitated back to painting and I stuck with it for all those years. Of course, my work went through many changes in subject matter, in style and concepts. For a time my painting was semi-representational, but for the last 20 years or I have been doing pure abstraction.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I consider myself a contemporary abstract painter and a colorist who works with oil. I have developed a unique painting process that uses liquid oil paint poured against a background prepared on canvas or paper. When the different batches of colored paint are poured and the canvas rotated back and forth, the pigments intermingle and fuse into visually striking patterns and shapes. After many years of painting practice, my process remains largely experimental and improvisational. My aim is to create a space in which contrasting elements are interwoven into organic and fluid compositions. I see these paintings as “ intuitive landscapes”, many of which suggest fictional natural phenomena (cloud formations, stormy skies, cascades, patterns of moving water, minerals). They are about a world in a perpetual state of transformation, unfolding elegant chaos of energies, a moving buoyant magma of colors and forms frozen into art – a painting.
My work is an intrinsic part of my internal creative life. I see the creative process as an exploration in an uncharted territory where I meander in and out of formal exploration and random playfulness. Throughout my work, I want to communicate a sense of wonder and excitement and a sense of uncompromised freedom.
What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
Seek out, other artists. Start or join an artist critique group.
One of the biggest challenges facing artist today is the very competitive art world and the difficulties in finding opportunities to show and sell your work. This is especially true for women artists. The gender disparity still persists in the art world. For instance, we know that only 30% of artists represented in commercial galleries are women. The lack of opportunities for women artist to show and to sell their work is still an issue.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can see my work in shows in various galleries and during the Open Studio Event in my studio in Pasadena, CA. (This is the Altadena/Pasadena Open Studio tour, usually in early June.) Please see my website for information. I also welcome studio visits – you can contact me through my website – and I encourage people to visit my website at www.saintoyantstudio.com.
- Address: 1170 North Catalina Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91104
- Website: www.saintoyantstudio.com
- Phone: 6266604798
- Email: email@example.com
Gene Ogami, Dominique Manning, Blandine Saint-Oyant