Frank le Pair: Painting Life through Colours and Lines
Hi there! My name is Pam, and as part of my studies Economics and Art I have been interviewing several of accessART’s artists. My third interview was with Frank Le Pair. Frank lives in Eindhoven. He started his artistic career about 15 years ago and it’s an impressive story. It was a joy to learn more about him and his art. Happy reading!
Frank Painting the World
When I first had a look at Frank’s portfolio, it quickly became clear to me that his paintings are characterized by colour, lines and structure. When we talk about his works, Frank tells me that this is indeed the case.
”Art is a way of communicating, so I think it’s very important that people recognise my style. Of course, every painting has an emotion or an expression. All my paintings have structure, patterns and lines. I like to paint with structure because it makes the painting looks different all the time, because of the changing light”.
I’m intrigued by the lines, and ask him about it. Frank tells me: “I see the lines as lifelines, how our paths cross, how people meet. This way, my paintings are an abstract view of the world we’re living in.”
The Personal Story behind the Paintings
The story about the lines representing different ways in life, brings us to Frank’s motivation to start painting. Frank’s introduction to the art world came along with a very tough time.
In 2003, Frank le Pair was diagnosed with cancer. At this time, his wife was pregnant with their first child. The prognosis didn’t look very positive as this specific form of cancer was rare and very aggressive. Of course Frank and his family were extremely worried about the future. But one of the things that bothered Frank the most, was that he knew that he and his child would only know each other to a certain level, to a certain point.
That was the moment he decided that he wanted to leave something behind for her. Something tangible, something that would stay forever, and something that would reflect Frank the way he was.
Frank had always played around with pencils, doodling and sketching. This was a way for him to release his creativity. This form of expression turned out to be the bridge to painting. He started painting only for his daughter, at first. As Frank created his paintings with the idea that only his daughter would see them, he made paintings children would like. Very lively and colourful.
Frank realized that he liked painting so much, that he started to create more, also with the idea of sharing it with more people. Painting became part of his healing process and gave him positive energy and focus. And guess what? It’s 2017 and Frank is still painting!
Balance is key
After this personal story, we dig a bit deeper into the artistic proces behind the paintings.
Frank explains: ”I have a graphic background, so I really learned to look or search in a abstract way. In the graphic world, it’s very important to defend why you make the choices you make. You have to explain why you choose certain colours or why you designed it that way. That’s what I do al the time, with every step I take when I paint: I reflect and judge”.
Frank does not just start painting from 0. He makes a lot of sketches on paper before starting on the canvas. Frank says: “I plan my paintings, this is a step by step process”. Frank draws the pattern on the canvas to find a balance between the pattern, shape and size of the canvas. He connects the lines and shapes like he is creating a signature.
After the sketches it’s time for an exciting step in the process: pouring the paint on the canvas to create the structural lines. Pouring the acrylic paint is a very labour-intensive process and demands much correction to make the lines fluent and balanced. The result is an almost “handwritten” pattern.
“In the end, of course my paintings aren’t exactly like I sketched them. Because sometimes, when I’m painting, I notice that certain things just don’t work on the canvas”.
Painting for me is very thoughtful… I think my paintings are phases, some of my paintings refer to an experimental phase, others refer to emotional times. Also balance is very important in my paintings. I use a lot of colours, so it’s important that there’s a good balance between cold and warm colours. But also the balans between the distances of the lines need to be in balans.”
”I think my paintings are phases, some of my paintings refer to an experimental phase, others refer to emotional times. ” – Frank le Pair
What inspires Frank Le Pair
When we talk about inspiration, Frank has a lot to tell! He does not just have one source of inspiration, but many! He explains: ”I’m inspired by everyday things and by natural structures. But I also get inspired by human interactions. It’s interesting how to translate that to abstract shapes. Next to that, other painters also inspire me. I admire artists like Picasso and Milo I a lot!”.
The part about inspiration that moved the most was the part where Frank tells me about how people can feel the emotion in his works. Frank elaborates: “A company once asked me to create two paintings, in a batch of 50. Every painting had to be original and hand-made to create an exclusive atmosphere. Frank started out making 10 sketches, out of which the company could choose 2.
“When I started with the sketches, my older sister passed away. This was an emotional time and I decided to design one painting inspired by and as a tribute to my sister. I went to the company and showed all the works I created. I didn’t tell them about the story with my sister. For some reason, they immediately choose that one specific painting. They must have just felt the emotion. This was a very special moment for me. That was meant to be.”
”In the end, if I look back, everything makes sense to me. Without my sickness I wouldn’t even be painting right now. This path I’m following is the right one, I know that a hundred percent sure.”
If you’d like to know more, check out this video of Frank le Pairs painting technique: