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Meeting with an artist: Mona Edulesco

In its portraits, Sennelier honors his favorite artists. Artists from all over the world with singular universes. In this last portrait, discover Mona Edulesco, a Romanian artist specialized in oil painting with palette knives.

Can you tell us about your artistic background? 

I’m a Romanian painter and architect living in Lyon, France and specializing in textured impasto oil paintings, using thick, dynamic, gestural palette knife strokes. The art, since childhood has always held a fascination for me. I had the big opportunity to grow up in an artistic environment and today I realize how important this was. My parents have always been able to help me with advice in both domains, of painting and architecture, my mother is an architect and my father a professional painter. My grandmother was also a very artistic and talented person and I cherish the souvenir of our long hours of painting together or practicing the piano, since I was just a few years old. Regarding my professional background, I graduated the Fine Arts High School “N. Tonitza” in Bucharest and I’m really feeling lucky about this. I learned a lot there, I had some extraordinary art teachers and I keep many good memories. My background was not just one classic, cause after the Art high school I decided to follow the “Ion Mincu” University of Architecture and Urban Planning in Bucharest. During this decade, I complemented my architecture studies with live drawing and painting classes. I continued with postgraduate studies in Bucharest and Lyon, obtaining in 2008 a Master degree in urban planning. In 2011, I moved to Lyon, I embraced my life-long passion for painting and I returned to a full-time career as an artist. 

Do you have a favourite or regular technique? What do you like the most about this technique?

I am in love with the impasto technique of oil painting using palette knives. I love to work with heavy textures and to achieve vibrant dynamic color schemes. I mostly use a variety of palette knives in the realization of my works, sometimes in combination with brushes. I am absolutely fascinated by the explosive textures and the intense chromatic that you can explore and reinvent by working the medium of oil painting. This palette knife technique that I developed over the years confers expressiveness to my paintings and an amazing three dimensional aspect.  

In your opinion, what is the most important art material for an artist and why? 

In my personal opinion, the Colors (be they oil paints, watercolors or acrylics…) are on the top of the materials list. To express myself, I could give up other tools, like palette knives or paintbrushes, but I couldn't live without “colors”.

Do you have a favourite colour or art material? 

Blue. Palette knives

How do you organize your palette of colours?

I first learned about setting up a color palette when I’ve started the Fine Arts School at the age of 12. We’ve been taught to arrange the warm colors on the length and the cold colors on the width side, with black and white in corners. Well, in the present I don’t follow anymore these academic rules ad litteram. I set up now my oil colors palette in a more random way, I would say more instinctual. It’s according as well with the painting I am about to begin. However, I always have two zones, one with the cold colors and other with the warm ones. Sometimes when I finish a painting I always mix all the colors that remained on my palette and it results some beautiful colorful-greys that I use on a next painting. 

Tell us more about your style and your influences.

I call my style Textured Impressionism, with a mix of post-impressionism and expressionism influences and a semi-abstract manner of representation. It can be seen as a form of textural modern impressionism, as I use thick layers of oil paint to achieve a vibrant movement in my works. My preference for abstract cityscapes reflects my background in architecture and urban planning. I love to wander from one city to the next, to discover new places and to revisit the old and then to express these emotional experiences in my paintings. My professional training as an Architect has allowed me to study in depth and to grasp the City subject with all of its complexity. I merge my experience in architectural concept drawings with the freedom and energy of palette knife painting into phantasmagorical textural impressionistic works. Regarding my inspiration and influences amongst the Masters, I have always been attracted in a special way by the Impressionist movement. Other preferences are the Post-Impressionism, the Romanian Modernism and The group of Seven. Some of my favourites artists: Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Suzanne Valadon, Felix Valloton, Klimt, Tom Thomson, N. Tonitza, Stefan Luchian, Corneliu Baba, Iosif Iser.  

What’s the best thing about being an artist today? And the most challenging one?

When I quit my job as architect/urban planner and I embraced the painting as full time business I knew it will be difficult but eventually it will accomplish me. I worked hard for that but it worth it. I feel truly lucky to have a full time job of doing what I love most. I think this is one of the best things of being an artist. There is also all the satisfaction related to this work. To feel proud about the sacrificies that you made. Proud for going after a dream, trusting my instincts and never giving up. Proud of the art that I accomplish every day and the way that I succeed to make people happy with my creations. I believe that if you work hard enough and always believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to... Of course, a big challenge of being an artist, and maybe the most challenging for many artists out there, is to be able to build your clientele and sell your art regularly.I also think that just the fact of being your own boss, could be a big challenge for an artist. The artist has to wake up every day and make his own schedule, meet his own deadlines, without anyone pushing him or reminding him what to do. They must also have enough confidence in their work and in themselves to keep going every day... You need a lot of passion and perseverance to achieve all this. 

Do you have an advice to share with beginners? 

My advice for anyone wanting to pursue a career in art is never giving up. To work hard, paint everyday if possible and never stop dreaming. I truly believe that when you put all your heart into something, it will eventually be rewarded. 

Can you tell us about your actualities, your future projects?

For the past months I continually worked on commissions for customers from different corners of the world. As soon as I have more time, I intend to create a new series of Minis on 3D canvas. These miniature textured oil paintings on 3D canvases are very appreciated by my collectors. You can check them out on my website or Instagram.  

 Follow Mona on : 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monaedulescoart/ 
Website : https://mona-edulesco.pixels.com/ ;