Interview: François Bonnel


Toulouse, France.


Tell us a bit about yourself, as far as we know, your artistic journey began 25 years ago?

In fact, I have always been immersed in the world of creation. My grandfather and my mother were already painting.
During childhood, the first approach was very fun, painting  with the fingers, mixing colors and drawing random forms… For me it was very natural. I have always painted for pleasure and first figurative paintings to learn the basics… Then my paintings become  abstract.
More and more often the relations who came home complimented me and encouraged me to share my work.

How did you manage to combine work and leisure, and what made you start an active artistic career?

For 25 years, I worked a lot for an advertising company… I learned about human relationships, communication and management.
But the weekend, I needed  to clear my head and find a positive energy. Then I realized that the only thing that really made me want to get up in the morning was to paint… It became an emergency, almost an obligation for my balance.
My family was great. it supported me to take the step to paint full time…
I created an Instagram account a year ago, and quickly, I had positive contacts with galleries, agents, art lovers and other artists… it encouraged me to go on… I started by exposing canvases in local gallery, it allowed me to gain legitimacy but very quickly I had much more contact by Instagram (especially AbstractMag)… This is the beginning of a beautiful story.

You always use various geometric shapes. What meanings do you put in them?

When I hang a painting on a wall, I want it to give me pleasure, an emotion (preferably positive…) and for me the curves and the bright colors bring this energy, the shadows bring them a contrast and a depth… It must be as simple as possible… I am not trying to convey a message. The emotion is what I am looking for. I do not paint for unanimity, but simply to please me and share this pleasure with some… For me a painting must be in harmony with its environment as a perfume or a music… it’s a matter of style…
And my style will certainly evolve with time…

Tell us about your studio, where do you work?

I work at home in Toulouse, South West France. While waiting to find a workshop, I have the chance to paint in a large room of the house. But I’m starting to have storage problems. I love the spring days, the light allows me to work from the survey to the couch… and therefore to work a lot!

What inspires you?

I spend time discovering other artists in galleries or on the Internet… Instagram also offers the possibility to follow the work of other painters. It’s very important for me, to learn, to explore new tracks and to improve myself. I like the minimalism of Ellsworth Kelly, the shadows of Keller, the colors of Anna Mac, the energy of Taylor A White, the sweetness of Yvonne Robert, the geometry of Franck Stella and the dynamics of Matisse… etc…
My inspiration I find it also in my daily environment… Nature does masterpieces is nothing is more inspiring.
No need for explanations to enjoy a tree, a sunset or find fun shapes in the clouds… For me the inspiration is there too…

The biography on your site says that music plays a big role in your paintings. What kind of music is it?

I love listening to music. It accompanies me every day, whether I comb or not.
Music influences my mood. It’s a question of rhythm.
I can listen to very different styles from Classical to Rap through Electro…
I particularly appreciate Beck for his eclecticism, Cameron Avery, Burt Bacharach, Scott Walker, Jonathan Jeremiah, Anderson Paak, Mac Miller, Serge Gainsbourg, Keren Ann, The Arctic Monkeys or Daft Punk… it’s impossible to quote everything…
Often the influence is such that I pay tribute to artists by naming my paintings.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? Do you have exhibitions planned?

I would like to find a larger workshop to work on larger formats. I will continue to work in collaboration with beautiful galleries online and accept gallery exhibitions… staying in touch physically is essential.
The “Sans” Gallery in Toulouse in July. Then Paris, Saint Tropez and Megève with L’Atelier 55.
I have also some offers for exhibitions in galleries in New York, Brussels and Barcelona.

Thoughts that you would like to share with our readers?

Your readers are people who are already arts lovers… They already know all the pleasure that one can have when creating or  looking artworks… but personally the destiny of certain artists to influenced mine… I have long missed of confidence in me and therefore lost time in my artistic exploration… I encourage everyone to believe in themselves… This is what I want to share… as well as a good glass of wine and cheese!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *