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Michèle Hougardy, artiste peintre

Michèle Hougardy, artiste peintre

As an ardent admirer of natural colours and shapes, Michèle has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil or rather scribble dozens of colours on large sheets of paper. Having studied architecture in Belgium, she worked for some years with her husband in her father’s architectural bureau.

She continued over a period of several years teaching architecture and graphic design to students.

On meeting her new partner imbibed as he was with all the perfumes of Africa and with far asiatic horizons, they decided to step out into the adventure of working in foreign countries and he suggested she live for her passion for painting.

Following different contracts and places : sometimes in an asiatic climate, sometimes in the langour of Africa ; women, animals, vegetation… grew on her canvas and paper. Sometimes in aquarels and sometimes in oils, she vascillated between these technics so different yet so similar in the fusion of colours. Coarse canvas found in the markets of Africa or Asia, paint aerosol or paint tubes of unknown origin ; bits and pieces accumulated on walks or while travelling… so many different elements giving depth and originality to her paintings.

Much more than just a personal adventure, the travelling made her discover simplicity, the brotherhood, but also the fragility, the misery and the pain of theses countries. The beauty at once so strong and so fragile and the fatalism of the population whose paths she crossed.

No need to elaborate theories, of wild imaginings or grand language which renders simple landscapes too heavy to assimilate, human beings who are just there, just beside us but that we don’t see.

She feels, assimilate and attempts to transcribe onto canvas or paper with the pleasure of assembling materials and mixing textures and colours.

But also to marvel (each one in turn) at the effects of pigments carried in water or other media and trying to experiment, to find a common language.

Her “new paintings” – as she calls them as they are directly influenced by her travels – comes from the need which forces her to look everywhere and be surprised ; then that need to fill sheets, pages and canvases with sketches, portrait, plants… so many drawings filling her sketch-books without which she never travels.

Through her sketches, aquarels and oil paintings, she evokes various subjects: landscapes, women and zebras wich are, for her, a sort of extension of her passion for horses wich she had as a child.

Deliberately as if split-up or unfinished, her settings oblige the spectator to travel in his imagination towards unknown and far away frontiers… so “bon voyage” !