MARCH 2012 FEATURED ARTIST
AN INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL HANEQUAND
CPSC is pleased and privileged to present our first Featured Artist Interview of 2012 with Parisian native, Toronto based coloured pencil artist, Daniel Hanequand.
1. Do you have a formal art education or are you self-taught? How do you feel your educational and personal background has affected you as an artist…or have they?
I am a self taught artist, nonetheless having spent a year at the Fine Art School of Sir George Williams University in Montreal (now Concordia) in 1968, the teacher of the day was Gentile Tondino, a fine teacher and artist who told me that since I already came with a specific style and visual language, he couldn’t help me any further, neither guide me in in any ways but most welcome to enjoy and follow the academic class, which I did.While in boarding school in the 40′s and early 50′s in my native Paris I dare say that I was showing some visual hopes about the art of colored pencil drawing (I still have kept some). My grand father was a sculptor in Paris who died far too soon for me, but I have to admit that I was bored in art classes when I was in my teens… looking for more substantial “escapes”…deep down looking for other options, other ideas and other visual fields to explore!
2. When and how did you first discover coloured pencil as the fine art tool and why did you choose cp as a favoured medium?
I discovered cp out of dire necessity….being very poor when I came to Toronto in 1969, I was looking for a medium that could “honor” my sense of being of the moment. I was drawing stand-up, my paper attached with push-pins against the wall. In that time oil paint was far too expensive for me, therefore I founded that cp was sensuous enough for me to explore, expressing myself that way, fitting the inner feeling and emotions of my present days, as well as trying to, desperately, gain the support of the Canada Council for the Arts…..most unfortunately…..to no avail…….
3. What do you enjoy most about working with coloured pencil and why?
The fine details that could be achieved in a most creative manner, the sensuousness of it, so clean, so neat…. it’s dry painting at best! Most rewarding when achieved!
4. Where do your ideas and your inspiration come from?
I wish I knew…that would help me! But I believe that the early exposure to some of our great museums in Paris and my encounter with surrealism and particularly the works of some fine surrealist artists of the day were important and crucial, having absorbed a fair dose of creative seeds implanted in my young soul, I felt the experience worth the experiments, activating my burgeoning creative impulse to portray some personal ideas of my own!
5. Do you get artist block and if so, how do you deal with it? What helps you to overcome it?
I don’t think having had such an ailment but I can understand the moment, particularly when discouraged by adversity or ignorance that could bring you down right to the next abyss. Fortunately I am blessed to have a most understanding and fabulous wife that…sales or no sales…my life as a creative artist was never changed for the worst, on the contrary life had to go on, further, farther, and better…no matter what!
6. On average, approximately how much of your time do you devote to your art (or art related activities, such as research, photo shoots, thumbnail sketches, etc)?
I am working full time in my art work, so it should be between 8 and 12 hours depending of the urgency.
7. How would you describe your art style?
Surrealist, visionary in some of my paintings and miniatures, but I learned that in my case it could be a bit difficult to define…outsider, marginal…I even was told of Curvism……
8. What subject matter and/or themes do you prefer to explore and pursue in your art?
Mostly my personal and chosen language is leading my personal plight, like some musicians that have a precise language that progressively leads to a special niche of their very own, the contemporary dancer that explores the limit of his body searching for new concepts to propose, I like the discovery of something I don’t know, the birth of “something” new, something else! something that would surprise me, consequently I never know what my new drawing will be, having no pre-conceived idea, yet trying to put myself in the shoes of a choreographer!
9. Describe your coloured pencil technique?
I just draw what I have in mind, good or bad, to “get it out” and following in the continuation of a series, in my case “the Metamorphia series” my language being well understood and hopefully mastered, I just go ahead with it, since It’s not my hand who’s doing the work, but the brain that do program, explore, and refined the explicit work.
10. Generally speaking, how much pre-planning goes into your art work? Are you fanatical about working out all the little details ahead of time? or do you tend to work more” by the seat off your pants? Or do you fall somewhere in between the two extremes?
I always have a general idea about what should be in that white paper, but since I want to be surprised I do the general concept or sketches as an idea to follow and change accordingly, watching the progression but having my own style for so many years, and of an older age…things are easier. I don’t have to search so desperately, it comes naturally having a precise “hint” of what could be the final work.
11. Can you describe your work process for us, from conception to completion?
Somehow easy, the conception is the infrastructure of the image to be seen later, like the conception of a new Condo, the bottom part first, the rest follows, grossly in my case to visualize or imagine the “carcass” of the work in front of me to rise, then the changes and the various details to be added to complete the work.
12. Name three coloured pencil artists whose work you greatly admire or who inspire you. What is it about them or their work that appeals to you?
Not very familiar with the Toronto art scene of today, not showing in Toronto since 1982, I have no ideas of any fine coloured pencil artists living in Toronto, or in Ontario for that matter, but in 1991 in France, near Paris, I saw a very fine exhibition of Visionary art, in particular the work of Alain Margotton showing an extraordinary coloured pencil drawing of an amazing virtuosity!
13. I regard to your own work, which is your favorite piece, and why?
So far my favorite piece is: Metamorphia 2, because of the magnitude of the work itself, it’s originality, it’s fertility….therefore I bought it for myself!
14. What are your artistic goals?
Along the years to continue to be part of international platforms and artistic venues, but as many Canadian artists of my generation, I have to expand somewhere else to pursue such an endeavour in order to keep afloat with the best artists of my field.
15. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you, the artist, or about your art?
That at 73 I intend to go with the artistic flow that allows me to keep in contact with the best, produce, refine and get better which is usually the case with age, though it could be the reverse for certain artists who have been spoiled too early, in my case is to be selected in many international venues, as well to be accepted, at last, by my adopted country…that would be fine!..my ambition is as pristine as ever, aside that an ego, also, has to be generously fed!
16. If you could offer a little tidbit of advise gleaned from your own experience with using coloured pencil to an artist out in the medium, what would you say?
I would say that any younger artists or young artists should embrace this magnetic medium with total freedom and great expectations, choosing the best paper, listen to nobody that have no heart for a medium that do open instant creativity. The art of colored pencil has, finally, opened new path that allows one to be brilliant, walking bravely in an unbeaten path…the art of colored pencil drawing has been used in the 18th century, but it take contemporary museums and leading galleries to understand it’s importance, to open their doors, it will take many more great artists to get involved, to finally have these doors to open at last, to receive the art of colored pencil as a major medium to be reckoned with!
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