Pheuil is a French self taught artist. He paints abstract paintings, figurative and animal portraits. He took up painting (in acrylic and oil) at a very young age, over the last ten years his hobby has grown into a huge passion whilst he works as IT/Finance contractor. He has worked in Paris, New York, Montreal, Stockholm and now lives in London. Impressionism is his main inspiration and he feels the best definition of art is given in the book “The Private Lives of the Impressionists” by Sue Roe.
“He [Pissarro] taught Cezanne to look at the reverberations of light and air, and to watch these rhythms at play with form and line, encouraging him to forget about ‘accurate’ drawing. Forms did not have to be drawn, they could emerge, if one would only look at the landscape and paint what he saw – ‘the essential character of thing’.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
Like many people there is a creative spark within that needs to be addressed. In my case it was the love of art and the need to express my creativity that led me to painting.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
Friends and family are often the ones who encourages us in life, as well as teachers. However, as a self taught artist much of my inspiration comes from observation and experimentation. The works of Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, Nicholas de Stael, Picasso, Jean Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring have had a major influence in the development of my artistic path. All in some way guided me down an artistic pathway towards developing my own unique style.
How would you describe your own personal style?
I like abstract (more than figurative) art because there is an energetic spontaneity in the creativity process. My aesthetic trademark is a mix of Basquiat and de Stael. Whereas outside influences exist in my work, I want to have my own aesthetic trademark and identity. That's my goal.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
I like raw medium (now, I use paper box or packing box).
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?
My day usually start with sketches on paper at around eight in the morning. From there I let the creative process unfold, working towards an end goal where a work evolves as I work on it.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
You could say I am a kind of "hyperactive" guy. The spontaneity of abstract work often leads me to creating three or four paintings in parallel.
Which of your artworks are you most proud off?
The main drive in most of my artwork over the course of the last few years has been the creation of my own signature style. So I would have to say that a lot my latest artworks are bringing in that direction. I feel that this is my "path".
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
I feel drawn to the 1920/30's and 1980's for pretty similar reasons. The creative energy that came about during both World Wars led to the creation of many artistic movements. It was a time of optimism and new found freedom. The same could be said about the 1980's, it was another era of new found confidence across the globe and with that the energy creativity once again came to the fore.
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
In today's world social networking has become a big part of being an artist. It seems like all artists are in "competition". So, I would say developing your own artistic identity is key to a successful long term career.
Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?
Impressionism - as it moved the world away from a creative process that had changed very little over the centuries. It was no longer about capturing the reality of the moment but more about capturing the moment, the feeling of things. Although initially viewed as controversial it opened the door to a new means of expression which has richly influenced the creative world ever since.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
For me there's no perfection.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a series of abstract paintings called "Gare aux Loups!".