Stanislas Piechaczek has confirmed something we've been thinking for a while. French people are so damn cool.
Currently residing in the Whitsundays, the French-born painter is a master of colour, taking inspiration from his surroundings and creating vibrant, abstract worlds that make you smile.
Upon the release of Stan's original artworks for Curious Grace, we took the chance to ask him about his creative process, how he knows a painting is complete and which artists inspire him.
Tell us about your art. When did your love for painting begin and what has been your greatest influence?
For a long time, drawings and poetry were the only artistic ways I use to express myself, but it never quite looked and sounded the way I wanted. They needed something more, to give them life and dimension, at least in my eyes. Even though my mum is an artist and I was always surrounded by paintings, it took me a while to decide to paint - I was not yet interested. Maybe because it looked too complicated until I figured out that I could paint in my own way, with my own approach and make it look the way I wanted. And that’s when I transformed all my drawings, ideas and words into paintings. Sort of an artistic fusion. As is still the case, my life and my journey are my greatest influence.
Talk us through your first ever painting. What was the subject and how do you feel about it now?
For my first painting, I didn’t have any point of comparison from previous paintings or any skills, routines, or techniques. It was all new, pure, innocent and fun. It was also frustrating, surprising and emotional, but also revealing which is what I liked the most - the therapy side of it.
I can’t quite remember the main subject of my first piece, but it was more abstract than my current work and included some of the poetry I was writing at the time. I named it ‘L’air parfait d’un art imparfait’ which means ‘The perfect look of an imperfect art’.
Your use of colour is incredible. Can you please share the themes and creative inspiration behind your series of paintings for Curious Grace?
Colours are really important. It’s a wordless and soundless way to communicate, as is painting in general, but for me, colours have been the strongest key to express myself through paintings. Colours make me happy and evoke emotion.
And there is no exception in this collection for Curious Grace which is composed of bright and powerful colours. I’m also introducing some new colours to my palette and working with new techniques to transform light and ‘neutral’ colours into strong and important colours. The subject of this collection reflects my life in the Whitsunday. I’m surrounded by turquoise waters, pools, green trees, palm trees and cacti.
What’s your creative process, from inception to completion of a painting? Do you ever find it hard to step away and decide that you’re finished?
The element that makes me always push my art forward is the fact that I use different creative processes. Some processes help me to create and develop new techniques, new subjects, compositions…and some will help me to keep the consistency of a subject. I will sometimes start on a blank canvas with no main idea in my head and see where it takes me. Sometimes the story appears to me while I’m painting, sometimes the story is there at the beginning but could change or evolve at any time during the creation. Sometimes everything is planned, the colours, the compositions, the subjects and then the result is maybe what I planned or maybe an element X will take me somewhere else.
When I'm deciding whether it's finished or not, I display my pieces in my house for few days. I will then decide to modify some elements or decide if it’s ready for the public eye.
What other artists inspire you?
I think every artist, both visual and musical, inspires me. Everything that catches my eye or hearing whether it’s good or bad will influence the way I approach my art and the way it will evolve. I feel fortunate to be a self-taught artist as at the very start I have been able to experiment with my art without the desire to do something specific.
If you could own any artwork, by any artist, what would it be?
If I had the chance to own any artwork of any artist I would probably need a couple of months to consider.
What’s a standard day like?
A usual day of painting must start early, it has to be one of the first things I do. I don’t like being distracted especially when I have thought about my next piece for most of the night, a bit like a dream that you don’t want to forget. Finding inspiration and taking my head away during painting is also an important part of the creation so I may go out and explore the new place where I’m currently living, the Whitsundays or go fishing.
What advice would you give to a young artist at the beginning of their journey?
It would be giving myself advice haha. I guess I’m at the beginning of my journey, I have a lot to learn and a lot to accomplish and that is very exciting.
I just keep believing in what I do and what I’m able to do.
Let’s talk about your home. Does your love of colour in painting reflect in your interiors? Describe your style.
Our house is pretty simple but timeless, we have a lot of wood, concrete and leather furniture. We also love being surrounded by plants and greenery. I would say that our style at the moment is a bit beachy/tribal. I often display my paintings on the walls which
make our home very colourful.
When you’re entertaining, what’s your ultimate, go-to recipe?
I love cooking and having people over. I normally love cooking French food for my guests but here in the Whitsundays I often have the opportunity to go out on a boat and catch my own food, and there is nothing better than cooking the fresh fish you’ve caught yourself earlier that day for your friends. Plenty of wine is mandatory haha.
We can’t imagine you would have much wall space left...is your home basically a gallery?
When I’m working on a big collection, it’s a bit more of a market than a museum haha. The last collection was composed of 16 pieces of 150x122cm, so it quickly covered the walls and the floors. I’m currently working on a 3.50 x 2.10 m and in this case, it may look like a museum haha.
On a Saturday night, we will find you...Watching a movie with my wife.
On a Sunday morning, we will find you…Painting or out fishing.
I’m currently listening to…Georges Brassens Buena vista social club
I’m currently reading…‘A Sea Vagabond’s World’ by Bernard Moitessier
My next travel destination is…I’m going to visit my family and friends in France for Christmas.
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Nothing breathes life into your home more than the pieces of furniture that bring loved ones together over a meal, so we've chased up the Curious Grace design experts and asked them their best advise on how to choose the perfect dining table and chairs for you.