Following your passion is easier said than done. For many, life seems to get in the way but as Guy Trinquet demonstrates, it is never too late to begin.
French-born Guy Trinquet is a Melbourne-based artist whose mood evoking paintings have started capturing the attention of art lovers and collectors in Australia and abroad.
His creative journey wasn’t a straightforward one. Here, Guy talks about how he became an artist whose works hang in private collections in Australia, France, USA, Singapore and Malaysia.
You pursued art after several career changes. How did that happen?
I grew up in Paris, surrounded by museums and galleries. It exposed me to different styles and types of art. I also lived in Fontainebleau, just outside of Paris. It was close to Barbizon, a village of painters. I often wandered through Barbizon, observing the artists at work. It really inspired me.
I loved painting as a child and that passion never left me. However, as an adult, work took me in a completely different direction. I just painted when time permitted. Eventually, I retrained as a makeup artist thinking it would fulfil the need to be more creative.
When I relocated to Australia in 2005, I continued working as a makeup artist for several years but I really missed creating art. One day, my wife bought me some canvases as she was tired of hearing me say how much I wanted to paint again.
In 2014, I made another career change by opening a French cafe. The walls of the cafe were bare, so I took the canvases, started painting and hung them up on the walls. It really made a positive difference to the atmosphere of the space. Many customers bought my paintings or commissioned pieces for their homes. This gave me the confidence to dive further into my art practice. After work, I would lock myself in the studio and paint late into the night. Despite the long hours at work, I felt invigorated when I painted.
Eventually, I transitioned from that business to focusing mainly on my art, started exhibiting and selling my paintings to art lovers and collectors.
How did you learn to paint without formal training?
I think it’s a combination of passion and tenacity. I watched lots of video tutorials, looked at different works, and just kept testing and improving. You could say I was obsessed!
I have always considered myself an artist even when I was working in other jobs. In some ways, it was just stepping into a part of my identity.
How would you describe your style?
I started by painting what I love. Currently, I paint atmospheric landscapes, vast skies, misty mountains, moonlit seascapes. I try to capture moods through my paintings.
As an artist, I’m always experimenting so it is possible that my style could change in the future.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Memories and experiences! For example, my abstract seascapes with immense skies are no doubt influenced by my experiences sailing across the Atlantic. Out at sea, I could’t help but observe the sky, the clouds, storms and light reflecting on the water.
I didn’t set out thinking I was going to paint atmospheric seascapes, but unconsciously, it started to reflect in my work.
I still observe the sky everyday and when I see cloud formations or colours that captivate me, I think about what colours I have to mix to get it on canvas.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to make the change from a conventional job to the art world?
Let go of perfection. Just paint and keep improving. It’s not always necessary to change careers, you can always keep your job and build up your painting practice.
What do you like doing when you’re not painting?
I enjoy long drives out to the country or along the ocean. I feel a sense of peace in open spaces in nature.
I also enjoy making bread. I love working with my hands and kneading dough is quite therapeutic. It’s also an easy way to get the French breads I miss.
How would you like viewers to interpret your art?
Art speaks to everyone in different ways. People who buy my art tell me it stirs something in them. It may be different from what it evokes in me, and that’s perfect.
Guy Trinquet’s paintings can be found on his website www.guytrinquet.com. You can also follow him on instagram @guytrinquetart
Guest post by Kathleen Alexander.