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Exhibition: René Shoemaker, an American artist, has fallen in love with Felletin & the Creuse, by Robert Guinot

Her painting connects memory and place

The expressions of René Shoemaker are not destined for tourist souvenirs. This American artist who paints on silk delivers a personal perception of Felletin, one that falls between poetry and naivety, with great accuracy of line and colors.


René Shoemaker, exhibiting for the first time in the Creuse, in the department where she has, with her husband, decided to live six months each year. The couple has acquired the good habit of lingering here during the good seasons of Felletin, where they now have many friends.  Last winter they bought a house, not in Felletin, but in a village of the commune of St. Maixant.

Since Tuesday, Rene Shoemaker proposes “Place and Memory,” at the City Hall in Felletin. The opening reception on Wednesday, allowed her to bring together other Americans, and of course English, who have adopted, as she has, the south of La Creuse.  (1)

The town of Felletin seen by an American

“In Felletin, I feel good and I return very often. But it is at St. Maixant that we have found the house of our dreams. Today, we are sharing time between La Creuse and the USA but we don’t exclude the possibility of finding a life here permanently. We visited the Creuse for the first time some years ago, on our way somewhere else; we immediately fell in love with the place. It is super.”

Rene Shoemaker was a librarian at the University of Georgia, USA. She began devoting more and more time to her painting. From the University of Georgia, she has a complete academic artistic training.

For a long time now, she found her own expression in a particular technique; she works essentially on silk. In Felletin, in the Marriage Hall, she displays her paintings on silk and also some silkscreen designs. She likes drawing, and she fills her sketchbooks with drawings as she walks around the town of Felletin. Her designs start from a point of reality and then let the imagination sail to capture the images of the real world; images that have a meaning, a depth, and here, a memory. A house, an architectural detail or a neighborhood can inspire her. It passes from the rapid sketch to a painting that tends towards non-representation. René Shoemaker Is trained in weaving, and is conscious of the fact that she is, in Aubusson and Felletin, living in the country of the basse lisse (low warp weaving loom), an area which has a tradition of weavers and dyers (2).

A unique, accurate and sensitive view

René Shoemaker has certainly been not only sensitive to the l’eglise du Moutier, but also to the roofs of the town. She has lingered in the rue des Fossés, and the rue de Beaumont (where the house of her friends has inspired her). She has been transformed the old service station…

Her representations sometimes approach abstraction, other times naivety.  All are formed by a characteristic trait affirmed by the assured strength of the drawing and by a limited chromatic range. She shares a unique view full of accuracy and sensitivity.




footnotes (1) + (2) are in translation ... coming soon