Five questions to Jeanne Schmid

Five questions to Jeanne Schmid

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Jeanne Schmid was born in Geneva, where she did most of her art studies. She currently lives and works in Switzerland, between Vevey and Montreux, on the Leman Lake Riviera. She describes herself as a discreet artist who likes to take the time to delve deeply into her research.
How did you get into art?

Born into a family of artists, I've been drawing seriously since the age of 11. My training at the HEAD (art school) in Geneva determined my path. A promising young artist, I was hit by a car at the age of 36, which interrupted my career. I would return 15 years later, once again a complete stranger to the art world. Since then, I've been pursuing fruitful research, mainly in painting.

How would you describe your style? What makes your art special?

My work is characterized by an avoidance of acrylic paint, which I replace with indian ink, powdered pigments, vegetable dyes, spices or mineral powders. Generally speaking, I prepare my colors in tempera, and I frequently mix different techniques in the same artwork. I work on a motif that's as simple as possible, the trace that my gestures leave on the support. Inspired by Zen painting and the ensô motif, I also develop forays into an imaginary, often mineral landscape. How do you go about developing your work?

In general, I already have an idea of the motif and the image I want to achieve.
Preparing my colors and/or inks brings me into a meditative state conducive to the confidence and fluidity of the gesture whose trace on the support will constitute the motif. I draw quickly, although I may return to a figure over several days until it reflects the energy I wanted to bring to it. Music plays an important role in my work, but silence is becoming increasingly important.
Who or what influences you? 

I'm influenced by oriental painting, particularly the Japanese Sumi-e technique. The mastery of brush strokes, the search for the "right" gesture, the carefully considered and meditated impulse, then the speed of execution are the basis of my painting research. If I had to name influences, I'd mention the Nabis, for their use of color, Fabienne Verdier for the strength and accuracy of her line, Kim en Joong for his bold use of colored light ; and obviously, Pierre Soulages and his «Outrenoir» !

What are you planning to do next?

I'm currently working on an intervention project in a roman church around which I worked during an artist residency in 2022. This research is leading me to develop a new color system, broadening my horizon as a painter, since I’m using pulverized stones and earth collected during my nature walks. I hope to continue my research into environmentally-friendly painting for a long time to come !Instagram