I think that I must have fallen into painting as soon as I was born! At an age when others are playing with building blocks, I took delight in massacring an enormous box of pastels that my mother had inherited from a painter friend of my grandfather. The books on my bedside table were “Les chatons barbouilleurs” (a likeable gang of clumsy kittens, who knocked over pots of paint which mixed together, thus revealing the secret of blending colours) and an enormous book on Botticelli in black and white with a few colour plates. It has to be said that the family environment encouraged my artistic endeavours. My grandfather, an amateur watercolourist but with a very professional technique upset me by solemnly consigning to the bin the nice little tube of white gouache beside my new paintboxes, because “white is supposed to be the white of the paper”. And so much more than other topics, talking about painting means talking about me and about my family.
I was the architecture student who, in spite of everyone, always produced her plans in colour in a world strictly devoted to black, white and the occasional hint of gray. Painting has always been part of my life, I even worked as a “painter and decorator” for years, producing frescoes and glazes in my own way (these were actually glazes obtained by superimposition of colours, using the technique of the Old Masters).
So it was entirely natural for me to create a range of colours; all I had to do was draw on my own experience. And perhaps it is exactly that which sets my range apart from all the other ranges which have flourished since: it is not the result of research in a style consultancy, but the living memories of so many building sites where I flitted around on the scaffolding (like those mischievous kittens). Of course, the taste is different, more uncompromising, perhaps more accomplished!
In any case, I can recognise the quality of a paint and its covering capacity, so I would not accept putting on three coats when, using quality paint, the same result can be achieved with one. I also know that a paint chosen from a little printed square on a chart will look quite different on walls and in the light in the actual location, but that is something that everyone has learned sooner or later, to their cost. So I sell cards painted in all the colours of our range to compare them with the actual light in the actual location.
I would like to conclude by saying where these colours come from. A great deal of time spent in museums and books must have a lot to do with it, but most of all, it is the “colour of the water in the canal opposite the Chien Vert” which serves as my inspiration, or an excessively pale Belgian sky. And sometimes the names of the colours just speak for themselves.
So, here are a few stories about colours :
In Marrakesh, looking for some coolness, we went as far as the “Vert Citron”, specially created for a very tiny house inside the bigger one.
Same reason, same investigation for a refreshing colour for the big house …
Another story for this green that has been invented to install an exhibition about the “cités-jardins”, at the Archives d’Architecture Moderne in Bruxelles.
As for this bright orange, while we did not miss in our range colours more in line with those of the fruit, we wanted to wake up a setting with this “Orange Cuite” which then proved very pleasant to use.