Inside the Studio: Bénédicte Gelé (France)



Bénédicte Gelé in her studio.

Favorite materials to work with?
As I have a unique theme, I like to work with lots of media, such as oil, watercolor, pastels, black chalk or black ink. I have a soft spot for black chalk because of its strength and the depth of its black color.

How many years as an artist?
I have always drawn but I really started my horse research in 2004.


Bénédicte’s studio.

Where is your studio?
In my home, in a bedroom (without a bed…).

What themes do you pursue?
Horses. I know this is a difficult subject. Of course, the horse is a wonderful animal, but I try to find a way to portray it so that it resonates with everyone – those who love horses, those who don’t particularly like them, or those who don’t know the animal. I don’t want them to fall in love with horses; I just want them to feel emotion through them.


Tools of the trade.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Music. I paint in energy.

Where can we find you outside the studio?  
With my horse or reading a book.

What’s around the corner from your place?
The ocean.


“Alert VIII” ($1,700)

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
Recently, I found a deep interest (don’t laugh please…) in the natural hoof care for horses. I think I could do that. I’m fascinated by their feet (no feet, no horse, according to the famous expression).

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  


“Rond de Longe” ($960)

Art school or self-taught?
Both! I went to an art school to be graphic designer, so I had good basis, and then I always looked to follow my obsession and search for my purpose by myself.

Favorite contemporary artist?  
Ben Ami Koller, who unfortunately died in 2009, 2 months after I met him.


“Regard XXII” ($360)

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
One of Ben Ami Koller’s works.

Use anything other than paint?
Pastels and black chalk.

Is painting dead?
Not as long as the mother of horses is dead.


“Nu Equin III” ($580)

Favorite brush?
I use a fan brush with pastels and black chalk.

Palette knifes?
I love the line, but I can’t draw lines with this tool.

Monet or Manet?
Monet for pure shapes and their effectiveness, and Manet for his use of black.



  1. olga gal says:

    I love the secrets in the private creative spaces and the story behind the created images . Congratulations Gele!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing a bit about you and your work. I love your horse paintings and drawings, they have been an inspiration to me.

  3. Beautiful work Bénédicte, certainly quite emotive!
    I also love the strength and decisiveness of the lines in your drawing.

  4. Hi Respected Gele ! your painting are very creative and attractive .
    I wish you a great success.


    i resume my french comment :
    i love horse painting work , oil , pastel , watercolor , you do a good job, it is nice …. but … prices …need more “modesty” and correction

    j’adore le travail sur les chevaux , huile, aquarelle, pastel et je ne conteste pas la qualité de votre travail , loin de la, mais par contre les prix mériteraient un peu plus de “modestie” ….

  6. David Arthur says:

    I like your stuff.

  7. I grew up riding horses and loving them all these years. You capture their power, softness and deep eyes. Please continue. Merci

  8. Oksana Babchenko says:

    Super! Very much!

  9. Trixie Pitts says:

    Hi Bénédicte,

    Congratulations! Although I am an abstract expressionist painter, I just love your work! They are very expressive. Gentle yet strong.

    Kind regards, Trixie

  10. Marsha Gormley says:

    I love horses and have one too. Also I am an artist and enjoy doing horses. Your work is delightful! I live in Canada but will be in Brittany the first week in May. Where are you located?


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