Steli Christoff

Biography

Born in 1960 in Brittany, Hervé Lenouvel spent his childhood in the countryside, near the forest of Brocéliande. Coming from a rural background, he became interested in drawing, then in painting at a very early age and established a very close, almost spiritual relationship with nature, which has remained his main source of inspiration since then.

Self-taught, Hervé devoured books on different techniques and tried several types of painting such as watercolour and gouache before finally settling on oil paint, whose viscosity offered him a sensuality that he would not find in any other medium.

At the beginning of his career, Hervé Lenouvel moved towards a rather figurative style, then adopted a more instinctive approach, developing a suggestive pictorial writing, bordering on the abstract, even if he defends himself: “Although I am considered an abstract painter, in my soul I am a very figurative person, since my subjects are directly linked to figuration, and I think that this abstraction is in the eyes of others.”

Nature is still his only source of inspiration. It is for him a space of immense freedom. His interpretations are the result of his observations and memories of the landscapes that surround him. During his daily walks, he mentally imprints the places and is inspired by all that nature can offer him, the sun, the rain, the wind, the dead leaves, the buds, the morning and evening light…

Back in his studio, he works the material in the freshness, quickly, retaining only the essential because his painting is a game where you have to observe, memorize in order to retain only the essential and thus translate the emotion received and the state of mind of the moment. “I learned to paint like a craftsman learns to do his job, but painting is not just about technique, you have to go beyond technique, you have to put yourself into it, learn to know yourself, put your personality on the canvas, it’s actually the most interesting part of the job.” The natural elements, trees, water, sky, earth are improvised as the painting takes shape, with the concern to leave enough room for the imagination.

In his interpretation, chromatic harmony remains the key element. Above all, Hervé Lenouvel is a painter of colour: “colour alone directs me on the canvas, I lay down my colours, I create a pictorial composition, and as long as this composition is not complete, as long as I have not found the balance, I continue to work on this canvas.”

Today, Hervé LENOUVEL still lives and works in Brittany. His paintings have been exhibited for many years in France, England, Canada and the USA.

MEDIUM: OIL ON CANVAS