Many years ago my friend Gillou taught me how to paint walls using a spray can in my hometown of Caen, Normandy. A few years later I decided to make that my job and he’s been very supportive ever since, encouraging me in my art, telling people about me and even finding me work!

Today I delivered a 90x90cm canvas he commissioned. He just gave me the size of the canvas and told me to have fun with it. I chose the word “Normandy”, for a land that we both have in our hearts. I wanted the painting to reference Normandy but without making it too cliché and obvious. I didn’t want to paint the Mt Saint Michel, a bottle of Calvados and apples. We’ve seen that before and I’d rather represent Normandy in my own way.

The patterns painted are separated by both straight lines and curved or irregular lines. These irregular lines draw the outlines of Normandy. In the top left of the painting one will recognise the outline of the Cotentin, Normandy’s West coast. The bottom right shows the border with the Paris Region, etc… Caen would be situated in the navy and white triangles in the centre. I guess it’s hard to see for a non-Norman but this was made for a Norman, plus I like it when things aren’t too obvious. I also painted two apple tree flowers at the top and at the bottom.

A big dilemma was whether to include insular Normandy (the islands of Jersey, Guernesey…). I decided not to include them because I wanted the outlines of Normandy to all be drawn at the same scale so as not too be too confusing. The islands would have been very small, especially in an overall design where the patterns are big. I will find a way to include them in my work in the future.

I’m very glad that my mentor has this piece! 


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