JOURNAL

EXPOSITION! Decouvrir: Felletin et ses villages

Photo Credit - Yveline LeGrand

I’ve been really busy in my studio and beyond here in central France! The reception to my exhibit, which opened on June 1st at La Mairie de Felletin (Felletin City Hall), was so well received. It was my second exhibition about (and in!) Felletin in two years; I am happy to share that my audience grew! And to also see the arrival of familiar faces among those that attended my first vernissage... well, I’m proud. And the Mayor and her office are happy to now share my work with their visitors and dignitaries!

Many attendees noted that my work has progressed exponentially since last year. I heard that it was more free, that the the colors were more alive, and that my subjects grew to include more diverse places and spaces.

I was honored to hang larger silk paintings this year (last year it was forbidden), as creating large work makes me especially happy. It was a challenge as my studio in France was not yet set up for making large-scale silk installation pieces. Now it is! The larger work gave us the perfect scale to create a perfect announcement banner, which hangs in the front of the wonderful, historic building - welcoming all to come in and see my works of art.

La Montagne wrote an article about the exhibition and reviewed it quite complimentary. I find it a sweet synopsis for the people who have yet to attend, and an inspiration for those who still have time to stop by. Decouvrir: Felletin et ses villages runs through July 27th. (*article and translation below) You can see images from the exhibition, purchase work, and read more about it HERE.

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Our Community Interpreted by René Shoemaker

By Robert Guinot

Just one year after having an exhibition here, René Shoemaker has retuned to the Felletin City Hall. The American artist, who lives in the commune of Saint Maixant, is this time sharing here the discovery of Felletin and its villages. She presents a selection of paintings on silk that represent a year’s work.*

Artistic Stroll around Felletin

René Shoemaker walked past Pont Roby to the Chatueau d’Arfeuille, then to the library. She went up Rue de Beaumont, climbed to the summit of the bell tower to experience a panoramic view of the town and the countryside. She studied the engraved inscriptions in stone buildings. Her journey is displayed in blue and green. She plays with the horizon line and sometimes departs, deliberately, from reality. Her exhibition delivers her perceptions of Felletin and its surroundings, from Arfeuille to Lavaud and to La Croix-Blanche. Her work has developed into a body of work that is dear to her, between poetry and naivety, with great attention to line and color choice, all with a very personal style. It is understood that the artist and her husband, who live here 1/2 the year in the Creuse, often leaves Saint-Maixant for Felletin where René is fascinated with the countryside and the monuments, where she observes the houses and architectural details. Her wandering journey inspires her paintings on silk, designs that are between figurative and abstraction, which is always elegant and personal. Her chromatic range is limited, contributing to the uniformity of the exhibition, that is, both understated and joyful.

(*) The ceremony of inauguration was held with the presence of Wilfried Celerien, deputy mayor, Gérard Chabert, the mayor of Saint-Maixant, Thierry Roger, who has framed the collection of work…

An exhibition, and all of the work that goes into them, can be really exhausting. In the next few weeks I plan to share some of my process with you!

I am also excited to share with you my next exhibit, opening  at AM’Carta Gallery (Atlier-Musée des Cartons de Tapisserie d'Aubusson) in Aubusson on August 17th. I have allowed myself time for new research, new paintings, and new large scale work — I can’t wait to discover what I create!

As always, I’m so happy to have you along on this adventure with me!

 

PHOTOGRAPHS FROM LE VERNISSAGE (OPENING RECEPTION)

Photo Credit - Yveline LeGrand

La mémoire et le lieu: Exposition de peintures sur soie de René Shoemaker

Memory and Place: Exhibition of Silk Paintings by René Shoemaker

My solo exhibition in Felletin, France, is nearing its installation completion... and then opening to the public! I'm beyond excited! As I write this, all of the finishing touches are happening. My husband Harvey has joined in on the fun, and is currently finishing the construction of some portable walls. It truly does take a village, and I'm so grateful for Harvey, my friend Eileen who has helped make it all happen, my new friend Eric (who also happens to be the grandson of the couple who opened Le Grand Café, which shows up often in my artwork. Small world! See the latest piece at the show and a detail below), and friends near and far who have offered their well wishes, expertise, and overall enthusiasm. 

The announcement (thanks, Eleanora!)

The announcement (thanks, Eleanora!)

The announcement in situ

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FRAMING ARTWORK IN FRANCE

I wanted to work with someone local to frame my new works, rather than schlep a bunch of framed pieces from the States, and I found a perfect collaborator in Thierry Roger. How incredible it is to work with someone so well even though we don't speak the same language! He prepares the mat board for me, which I then sew my silks onto. I return the finished works and he frames them beautifully. He also dyes wool for tapestry artisans, and is the last traditional dyer of yarn in Aubusson, so we are clearly a match made in heaven in our love of color.

detail of a new work featuring Le Grand Café, opened by Eric's grandparents

detail of the sewn mat board (click to enlarge)

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Here I offer you a sneak peek of what's to come on Wednesday:

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COMING UP

In the next several weeks I look forward to sharing exhibition images, a story about Les Michelines, an incredible silkscreen studio and atelier that I collaborated with (hi, Mélanie!), as well as a conversation between myself and curator/artist Hope Hilton on how my work has evolved in the last year, with a special focus on my move to France and working in a new studio. If you have any questions that you'd like to see answered, send them along or comment below and we will happily include them.

Merci! -René