Antonin Passemard Interview By Realism Without Borders
RWB: Tell us a little bit about you? Antonin Passemard: Well, I was born in Auxerre France. It is located in the north part of Burgundy in the wine country. The town I grew up in is a medival town and it is pretty rural but just 1h30 from Paris, which was very nice to develop an interest for painting. My favorite part about living in this area was the Morvan region. I moved to America 8 years ago. I traveled around but now I live in Boise Idaho. It is exciting to discover America and its vibrant painting scene!
RWB: What brought you to painting? Passemard: Two things really, a friend of the family who was a painter and museums. We always had paintings in the house. We had this big still life of pumpkins painted by Claude Clemente, friend of the family. I always considered him as my grandpa and he really fed my love for paintings more than he knows. My first love from paintings started with the German expressionists, like Ernst Kirchner, Emil Nolde, Otto Mueller; and also all the French impressionists, especially Sisley and Pissarro. I really like the powerfulness of the German expressionists and the elegance of the French Impressionists. With time I discovered the Russian impressionists, which in my sense combine power and elegance which was what I was striving for. They really opened my eyes! It was a teacher at the Beaux Arts that made me discover them.
RWB: You have a distinctive style how did you develop it? Passemard: Time, painting plein air, going to museums and trusting my own vision. But I owe so much to the painters that helped me along the way but I have so much more way to go. I am just really startingâ€Ś
RWB: Can you tell you about your normal painting process? Passemard: It really varies from paintings but typically I like to see the scene that I am going to paint and think about it for a day or days. I believe that the painting process has already started then. It is important for me to start with a very clear idea of what I want to say. I try to pay attention to paint something that belongs to our time and to my life. I do not want to do paintings that just copy the time or the ideas of past painters or museum paintings. Those past painters painted their world and I want to follow their advice and paint my world. I always think of paintings by Pissarro like his street scenes or his sunset paintings over coal factories. He did not painted things like Corot but really made himself an artist of his time. About the process itself, I paint fairly large in plein air so my paintings usually take more than one session plein air. My only focus is only to make the best painting I can, nothing else concern me.
RWB: What would you like to paint next? Passemard: I would like to get closer to our time and do paintings in malls, concerts… basically everything that is around us without any discrimination of subjects.
RWB: A lot of your paintings are from America, is there any other country you would like to paint? Passemard: Yes! I would like to do justice to my own country and go paint in the Morvan region. I have plans to do this with my friend Jose Salvaggio! Also, I want to go paint Russia with my friends Ulrich Gleiter and Anastasia Dukhanina. Ukraine and Croatia are also other places I would love to paint. The sooner the better!
RWB: Do you have advice for young artists? Passemard: Look at good art in museum and sketch a lot. Also, I will give an advice that I received “Learn to feel yourself in other people’s paintings.”
RWB: Anything you would like to add? Passemard: Be honest! Honesty is the difference between a good and bad painting…