From the Studio Of…Aleksandra Bouquillon

We are happy to give you this glimpse into the life and studio of Warsaw-based artist Aleksandra Bouquillon.

Favorite material to work with?
Acrylic paint, definitely. I had some attempts with the oil pastel and the oil bar in the past, but I returned to acrylic without any regret. The paint dries quickly, which allows me to complete a piece of work within only one painting session. It is also well adapted to my painting method.

I wish my day were at least twice its length as there is never enough time, and when I am starting to paint I get so much involved that the hours pass like minutes…

What themes do you pursue?
I try to stay within the abstract, which doesn’t mean I totally avoid figurative aspects in my work.

I am particularly interested in organic-like abstract forms lately, and my palette has softened towards the shades that are more close to nature.

Also, the images from the space – as those from Hubble telescope or space missions – are the source of great inspiration to me, which I hope to explore in the nearest future. I especially admire Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, which – based on the photographs – I consider one of the most breathtaking places in the Universe…

Discover Aleksandra’s artwork

Where is your studio?
My flat is my studio and because it consists of a single, tiny room – the boards, easels and canvases are all over the place…

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
What I consider a useful experience was an opportunity to watch children painting. I greatly admired their approach – curiosity, freshness, and lack of prejudices. They are sincere in whatever they create. In my opinion creating is all about sincerity, sincerity towards oneself. You just cannot cheat the viewer.

Art school or self-taught?
Self-taught, or rather still self-learning. I think it is more a constant process of improving skills and deepening the artistic research. I feel that I am only in the very beginning of my path.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
With music, and very wide range of it. I might as well listen to classical music, John Zorn, Coil, or to Monolake and after that immediately switch to some Korn songs. I guess I wouldn’t be able to work in complete silence. The titles of the songs I listen to, while painting, often become the titles of my works.

What’s around the corner from your place?
After a long stay in France, in the area around Paris, I recently live again in one of the new districts of Warsaw, which is called Ursynow. Its oldest part was built in the communist past and was intended to be a dormitory of the city. It consists of very similar, cube shaped apartment blocks. Fortunately, with the passing years, strips of green appeared among the blocks of concrete, making the place more human. The huge green areas wake up in spring giving the district an appearance of a vast garden. As I live on the ground floor, I adapted the little space in front of my windows, and created a tiny, pleasant garden.

“Discontinuity” ($380)

Where can we find you outside the studio?
In the shop where I buy painting materials.☺ I am lucky to have a very well equipped one close to my place. The team of vendors is great, always smiling and helpful, so it is a double pleasure to spend my time in there. I also spend a lot of time in the DIY shops, as I mostly use the panel boards for my paintings.

“Jump They Say” ($190)

What do you collect?
A little bit of everything that I can use as an inspiration. Especially flyers, postcards, magazines pages, and everything that might be of any use to paint over. Also some Pantone scales prints, as I like to surround myself with colors to check their influence on the background and possible matches. I brought some stones to my studio as well. They cannot be called a collection, as there are just a few of them because my place is too small to store more. Anyway, they are very special, they have kind of wooden-like patterns, and a very warm appearance, unusual to a stone.

“Hello Earth 3″ ($300)

Favorite contemporary artist?
Many names, starting with one – modern, not really contemporary: I am fascinated anew with the work of de Kooning. My favourite is the Bolton Landing; I could look at this one for hours. It seems to me so ultimately contemporary as if it just left the painter’s studio and not almost 55 years ago…

I used to be an unconditional fan of Nouveau Realisme, with its decollage method, especially work of Dufrêne but also Jacques Villeglé (who is still active and producing new art pieces). I find their approach particularly powerful, it is almost a physical fight with matter. Also the idea of binding and recycling the elements of reality in their work, such as posters, garbage or objects of everyday use, seems to me very interesting. Of course the term “abstract” is to be avoided as they claimed the big “return to reality” and openly opposed themselves to the lyrical abstraction, but their work was very powerful inspiration for my abstract composition for a long time.

From Polish young generation of painters I particularly admire the work of Michał Minor, who is also one of the professors of Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. In my eyes he is a master of color matching, some of his color choices are surprising and really powerful.

Finally, I have my favorite artists on Saatchi Online site; if I were to choose one name it would be Alexey Adonin. I think we have a similar vision of things in many aspects. I also invite you to visit my favorites collection for other names and art pieces.

“Infinite Snow 2″ ($450)

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
I hesitate between one of de Kooning’s paintings and the “La demie sœur de l’inconnue” by Dufrêne (which I would definitely hang in the horizontal position).

Use anything other than paint?
From time to time I use paper for collage. I also paint over printed paper or pieces of glass and walls.

“Aerodynamic” ($200)

Is painting dead?
It would mean that the world is full of living dead painters (laugh). Seriously, I believe it is not, and hope it will never be.

Palette knifes?
Almost exclusively. I have a whole range of sizes, triangle shaped ones, and I have made some tools myself. Occasionally I use also spalter brushes, synthetic ones.

“Fields of Gold” ($280)

Monet or Manet?
Manet. For the painting of Normandy coast, the place that I love. He was probably the one to capture best its real lighting and shades.

Check out all the work in Aleksandra’s portfolio

51 Comments

  1. Hi Aleksandra, very interesting interview, I agree acrylic paint is fantastic, you can experiment and push the paint to do exciting things. I love painting with my canvas on the horizontal and turn my paint brush around and use it as a dribble stick letting the paint Dott, squiggle and splatter onto the canvas. It’s a really exciting way to paint keeping the work fresh and alive. I really love your moon painting and ideas about the universe, also agree about the amazing works on this site so many to add to its fantastic, I wish I had a huge house and could collect many of the works I’ve favourited, that would be so exciting to have work arrive from all over the world… P.s I have a you tube video attached to my profile page of painting horizontal with dribble sticks if anyone’s interested (or on my website, http://www.paintinglive.co.nz ).

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Kate, Thank You very much for your nice comment, I really appreciate it ! I will visit your website with pleasure, thank you for your invitation :) Warm greetings from snowy Warsaw ! Aleksandra

      Reply
      • Wow, I love the snow, we are in a big drought in New Zealand, I’m actually looking forward to winter, especially since my house runs on rain water. Happy painting, take care,
        Kate

        Reply
        • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

          Dear Kate, I have heard much about the drought in New Zealand, I know it is a huge problem, and I am sorry for this. Here, in Warsaw, it doesn’t stop snowing since more than one week now and the authorities start to speak about high risk of flood… So we might have an opposite problem to yours. The weather is exceptional this year… Greetings, Aleksandra

          Reply
          • Oh my gosh, I hope you keep safe, I’ve seen some crazy things on the news of big frozen rivers going out of control in spring. It is very frightening what is happening with the weather, take care,
            Regards Kate

  2. Hello Aleksandra,
    I like your work very much especially how you create visual space thru the way you handle your medium and choice of colors, great stuff!!

    Detlef

    Reply
  3. Noel Ruanel says:

    the art you produce has a rare look
    something of its own/ a real quality
    be good to see where its at
    maybe 10 years from now

    Reply
  4. Jay says:

    Dear Aleksandra,
    fantastic work, fascinated colours….well done!
    i just wondering, how big is yr flat? i am having trouble with my space.

    cheers
    Jay

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Jay, Thank You for your comment. My flat is really tiny (around 15 m2…) I know something about “troubles with space…” :)

      Reply
  5. Luis Peiro says:

    Congratulations Aleksandra, with your paintings you get that nice feeling of overall credibility, that rare certainty of be contemplating exactly what the artist sees, who has been kind enough to make it visible to anyone’s eyes. Your landscapes seem captivating, relaxing and inspiring, your enigmatic structures and civilizations mysterious and intriguing, and your assemblages recall a vestige of the construction of these objects and entities, or what could exist without ever having existed. Thank you very much for showing this hidden reality.

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Luis, Thank You very much. As I mentioned it in the interview this “credibility” is very important in my eyes, also, is only possible as we continue to follow our own way and intuition. I am happy you found some “inspiration” in my “landscapes”, I really appreciate your kind comment. Best greetings !

      Reply
  6. David Arthur says:

    I like the round one.

    Reply
  7. Hi Alekandra

    Very nice work. I like the way you blend the colours. Yes Acrylic paints are fascinating and friendly to work with . It is fast drying and expressive.
    Hats off to people who had invented this paint…
    All the best… keep painting fearlessly…..

    Anand Channar
    Artist
    Dubai

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Anand,
      Thank You so much ! Yes, acrylic are wonder paint and it would be difficult for me to imagine working with another kind of paint.
      Warm greetings !
      Aleksandra

      Reply
  8. michel lentz says:

    hello alexandra, beautiful works, beautiful studio, beautiful interview, even if i am not so sure that painting is still ,,existing” nowadays, i.e. existing as a part of Contemporary Culture, i.e. existing beside of the great vanity fair of Contemporary Culture, beside of the societal trinity of vernissage, finissage, wellnessage. Culture is nowadays a political thing: you enter it, you have it. Grants, awards, residential years. Explicite forms of art — good painting, good writing — are secondary, often contraproductive, i.e. Contemporary Culture is first. Actually our society pretends to own Culture from its very beginning (by tradition, by arrogance, by autohypnosis, by politics). Culture in posthistoric times is essentially a political construct of arrogance, of autohypnosis, of business, of very dubious selections, , i.e. a very effective method of manipulation of our society by politics (viz. ,,political art”) etc. Painting — as a collection of presentable works — writing — as a collection of novels, as a concentration of knowledge, science and existential experience — are mostly dangers for Contemporary Culture, as they are actually incontrollable, i.e. as they reduce the power of manipulation of our society by Politics (i.e. ,,Culture”), etc. etc. etc. So Contemporary Culture consequently rejects and contempts its best and most real parts. Contemporary Culture is afraid of real, effective forms of culture, art, etc.

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Michel, I was asking myself same questions these days. With a group of artists,we are just organizing an independent show, and struggling for some funds needed for the installations. On my own skin, I have experienced these days that in some way an exhibition is for many not more than a kind of purely commercial “product”. Also the artist itself is treated as a “product”.. The artificial side of society scares me, also. The art is a pure idea, the culture is a pure idea, from the definition, it should be protected on some special rights…. It is not respected, it is not respecting itself.. Thank You very much for reading my interview, I appreciate very much your kind words and thank you for sharing your interesting point of view. All the best, Aleksandra

      Reply
      • michel lentz says:

        hm, yes you are right, I even don’t TRY anymore to organize anything: if your paintings are abstract, they will tell you that there are too many artists of this kind (and ,,too many” in curators’ language means that your work is absolutely worthless: galleries and curators nowadays don’t even reply to your letters, the more a gallery/editor is famous, the more it respects the fundamental rule of never answering to an artists’ letters, requests, presentation copies, etc. This strategy is called ,,to discover emerging talents”). If you draw nudes, they will call you or a pervert or a obsolete being (because you are not ,,gender correct”), etc. Artists producing nowadays ,,artworks” (and not ,,pieces” [in German ,,Arbeiten'']) are stante pede called ,,amateurs”. Amateurs are by definition creative beings living nowadays without understanding that a TRUE cont. artist has to live WITHOUT works, that HE HIMSELF is his true and only ,,piece” (look at Swinton exposing herself or at that dull Abramovic). In order to be a true contemporary artist, you have to lack completely seriousness (this is called ,,being ironic”), you have to lack completely technique (this is called ,,being spontaneous”), you have to lack completely themes to speak — or to paint — about (this is called ,,being inspired”), you have to be ,,political” (this is called ,,being authentic”: note that authenticity is not open to everybody, no no no, you have to be born in the right country, i.e. you have to be ,,persecuted” or ..post-colonized” ). Moreover you have to function exclusively qua your curriculum, qua your exhibitions, qua your (former) grants, awards, and/or your books published. The more the better. Quality is not important. Quantitiy imports: be sure that they will count your exhibitions and the number of books you published. Be sure that nobody will look at your paintings or read your books, etc. etc. I have experienced ONLY this and now … basta la pasta. Ok, forget this, sincerely, M.

        Reply
        • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

          Dear Michel, I understand your point of view, about galleries, it is quite complex. My situation is even less easy, as I don’t have needed education, that automatically excludes me from galleries here (it is the first question – about school and for me the questionnary stops here). As you, I would wish for some more respect – many artists I know complain not to receive often any kind of answer from galleries. I can imagine that the owners just to busy to send an answer :) Anyway, lack of support from the gallery will not stop me from painting. Also I always try to see the bright sides of things. I am very happy that there are still places like this one – Saatchi Online site who gives a chance to everyone.Being here it is like having a huge show with guests from all around the world. It really gives hope and motivation to work even more. Warm greetings, Aleksandra

          Reply
          • michel lentz says:

            Oh no, that’s clear, don’t stop painting because gallerists and curators are stupid. For me, drawing has always been a method of protecting or helping me against depression, against loneliness, against existential crisis, against death, tristesse, etc. etc. My sort of therapy. And I believe in this. On the other hand, I don’t believe in ,,messages” or ,,philosophical thoughts”, when treating of paintings or drawings. Messages are much better expressed by words. So are philosophical thoughts. After all, drawing has to help ME, that’s primary. Moreover, when beauty strikes me, or when I get the feeling ,,that I like this”, there is always something mysterious, inexplicable, irreproductible in this, mostly independant of what ,,art is about”. You can express the same feeling when drawing with a pencil a simple figure than when painting with blood and carving with a knife on a nude living body. As most people nowadays like hypes, they don’t understand this. Blood is political for them, paper not. That’s too the argument of most cont. curators. But art is much more than — or something completely different from — … shocking fun and smartphone. Sincerely, M.

  9. no rush says:

    .

    ‘say something clever’

    no

    ‘why not’

    so many do

    ‘say something profound’

    no

    ‘why not’

    you wouldnt understand

    .

    just keep on doing the art

    only time can be the judge

    as long as its real its valid

    .

    .

    .

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear “No rush”. I agree with you completely. As you told – only time can be the judge, important is to “keep doing”, more than the words.

      Reply
    • I actually not long ago was told to pick up all my art from the one gallery which I had a lot of my work in because they noticed I was not being exclusive to them by being on Saatchi online, ( I had never signed a contract or anything saying exclusivity). I was told by the gallery owner that she was so disappointed that I would sell on line as it is so much cheaper to run a site than the expenses of running a gallery..but she hadn’t updated her gallery website in two years.. Also the owner was taking 45% which i think is just to much.. I have my work in another gallery in the same region Queenstown New Zealand again now. But i am seriously contemplating opening my own gallery, just small, just me and just do it, seems anyone can open a gallery but not everyone is a selling artist. It is a very snobby scene and really only seems to be interested in how many competitions you’ve won ( which in N.Z are all who you know not about your work at all) and which art school you went to. But the most exciting thing for me is the customers who like my work, they are the ones who pay for the work, galleries don’t pay for the work first, they don’t really care I don’t think. I love Saatchi on line, this is the best art scene I’ve ever seen, and it works so well.

      Reply
    • michel lentz says:

      Oh no, that’s clear, don’t stop painting because gallerists and curators are stupid. For me, drawing has always been a method of protecting or helping me against depression, against loneliness, against existential crisis, against death, tristesse, etc. etc. My sort of therapy. And I believe in this. On the other hand, I don’t believe in ,,messages” or ,,philosophical thoughts”, when treating of paintings or drawings. Messages are much better expressed by words. So are philosophical thoughts. After all, drawing has to help ME, that’s primary. Moreover, when beauty strikes me, or when I get the feeling ,,that I like this”, there is always something mysterious, inexplicable, irreproductible in this, mostly independant of what ,,art is about”. You can express the same feeling when drawing with a pencil a simple figure than when painting with blood and carving with a knife on a nude living body. As most people nowadays like hypes, they don’t understand this. Blood is political for them, paper not. That’s too the argument of most cont. curators. But art is much more than — or something completely different from — … shocking fun and smartphone. Sincerely, M.

      Reply
      • michel lentz says:

        Ooops excuse me, not the right place… hehehe.

        Reply
        • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

          Hello Michel, Why not the right place ? I think the free expression is fundamental and, again, I can understand your frustration. The galleries and curators are also normal people, working to pay their everyday life. I guess they need their guarantees, that the money invested in promotion will give the fruits… So I think I am able to understand, also. Sorry for my down-to-earth speach… we are all humans, after all , and we share the same Maslow’s hierarchy of needs..

          Reply
    • Bartosz M says:

      .

      Reply
  10. Blue says:

    You are AWESOME !. LOoove your Artwork fellow artist!!!!!!

    You have a friend here in Lititz, PA, USA.

    Blue.

    blue.martin33@yahoo.com

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear “Blue”, I am happy you like my works, and happy to have a friend in Lititz, thank You !
      Very warm greetings,
      Aleksandra

      Reply
  11. Hi Aleksandra,

    Your work is wonderful! I especially like your earth colors in your painting “infinite snow 2.” Your paintings are very loose and fresh. I too work in acrylic but am more of an hard edge painter and I admire your skill with paint. I love the way you use colors. Congratulation on being featured here.

    best,

    adalberto

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Adalberto, Thank You very much. Lately, I use less vivid color palette, and more “earth” colors, I am glad you like it and I really appreciate !
      Aleksandra

      Reply
  12. Aleksandra,

    Your work is so striking! It’s just beautiful. There is so much energy in each of your paintings and great, strong colors. Do you use a lot of medium with your paints?

    I was also curious about your time in Paris and how you think that affected your work. Did you have a favorite place there for inspiration? I travel there each year to immerse myself in the galleries and museums.

    Thank you for your time and best of luck to you.

    Kind regards,
    Julie

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Hi Julie, For the mediums that I use sometimes – usually the heavy gels and gels, but, depending on the piece I also use the flow improver by Winsor Newton Artistic line. Often I use pure color – without any additive. It really depends on the single piece. The quality of the color is very important, I like to work with the single pigments artistic line of acrylic. As I mix the color directly on the canvas or board, the good quality pigments are really essential for the final effect. It will be my pleasure to share with you some of my favorites addresses in Paris and Paris area, I propose you to stay in contact – aleksandra.bouquillon@onet.eu
      Greetings,
      Aleksandra

      Reply
  13. Joao Lomelino says:

    Beautiful work :) Makes want to start painting again.

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Hi Joao,
      This is a truly nice comment, thank You ! I will follow your works with interest and pleasure. Greetings !
      Aleksandra

      Reply
  14. 自由自在,自然宣泄的绘画,欣赏。

    Reply
  15. Cat says:

    Hi Aleksandra, I love your work. It really reminds me of a Colombian artist, very well respected and that I have admired for many years http://www.iadb.org/exr/cultural/catalogues/colombia/enobregon.htm

    I see a bright future for you,

    Regards,

    Cat

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Dear Cat,
      Thank You very much for your comment and for showing me the work of Alejandro Obregon, I didn’t know his work and I find it very interesting !
      Warm greetings,
      Aleksandra

      Reply
  16. joseluis castellon ariza says:

    Alejandra,aleksandra ,alexandre,lindo nombre como tambien es tu obra me encantó tienes un manejo de los colores estupendo,como si corriera en tus venas sangre caribeña o q en el fondo sueñas con venir a pintar por acá…te invito a q lo hagas,y veras q toda esa gama de colores la tienes a tu alrededor,como capa permanente del Caribe colombiano es pecialmente de Cartagena.Soy tambien artista y comulgo con tu técnica.felicitaciones…!!
    a

    Reply
  17. Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

    Muchas gracias, Joseluis !

    Reply
  18. Alexey Adonin says:

    Hi, Aleksandra! What i see here is your own universe and you’re the creator. I really like this kind of abstract art, and as i told you before you’re very talented artist and.. very special..

    Reply
    • Aleksandra Bouquillon says:

      Thank You very much Alexey for your kind words, it is very special for me to hear this from one of my favorite painters. Warm greetings !

      Reply
  19. Yahya Ehsan says:

    Such amazing pieces of art, the depths of planes, you portray or achieve so intelligently, intriguingly and finely. Your recent choices of earthly colors works really well, dynamic compositions are fascinating and mesmerizing at the same time. Combination of hard & soft edges with such delicacy, making your paintings stands out more, IMHO. Best of luck to your upcoming work! Looking forward to that.

    Such an informative interview.

    Cheers

    Reply
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