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Interview with Isabelle Gautier Information Collected & Composed by Sosha Pease Isabelle Gautier sat relaxed and smiling, her passion contagious as she gesticulates her stories. Full of vibrant life, she spoke of how her hometown being not far from the coast in Normandy would lead her to paint with blues and greens. She would laugh from her soul while speaking of the influence her mother and neighbors had on her as a young child. Her face would light up while talking about the trips she took to visit back home with her own children after meeting her husband and moving to the United States 17 years ago. From the discussions of galleries she had seen as well as the artists she had met on her latest trip to France, I could tell that she had a passion for art as well as family. This larger-than-life lady took me on an amazing tour through her life and creative soul. Our journey began: “I’m still in vacation mode. I just got back from my one-month trip in Europe. It’s almost a tradition—I go once a year to France to see family. It is very important to me to reconnect. I used to go with my kids one month, three weeks, two weeks—all according to their schedule. Now they are either at work or in college. So I’m by myself or with my husband depending on his schedule. This time, however, I decided to go by myself.” Isabelle had met three artists: two lived south of France; one, in Paris. She said it was funny that two artists were excited to meet her and the other was a little hesitant, saying how she doesn’t, “know any galleries.” Isabelle explained to her that she had been looking for human connection, not for connections to galleries. Our artist detailed how she had wanted see galleries in Europe and how much she wanted to visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. She explained that it was in fact the building itself that drew her to the museum. The Gehry architecture of the museum itself is so beautiful it made me think, ‘Who was Peggy Guggenheim?’ I had some idea about her but I didn’t really know who she was. I discovered she was, in fact, a very interesting person. She inherited a fortune from her father, who died on the Titanic, and—during WWII—began gathering abstract art from Georges Braque, Salvador Dali, and Piet Mondrian. After the war, she opened her museum in New York and exhibited her collection of Cubist, abstract and Surrealist art there. The village where Gautier grew up was influenced by the surrounding sea, and, until she moved out of the area, she hadn’t realized how important it was to her. Blue and green would be the most frequent colors to flow from her paint brush. Gautier opened up and discussed the passing of her father, how she had really needed to regroup after his passing. For a while, she only painted houses, a symbol of the family, which she assured me, “will always hold a strong hold on my heart.” 97 | T h e B l u e M o u n t a i n R e v i e w ( A n n i v e r s a r y I s s u e )

The Blue Mountain Review (Anniversary Issue)  

Featuring prose, poetry, and photography; as well as interviews from Robert Pinsky, Tennessee Werewolves, Isabella Gautier, and Regina Vallu...

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