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Interview with Jean-Pierre Leclercq

“During my forties I joined a few artist’s workshops and discovered that I could draw with pastels”

French artist Jean-Pierre Leclercq defines himself as a traditional painter. He enjoys working with pencils, pastels and oil paint. His work involves romantic symbolism and exalts the female silhouette. Jean-Pierre’s paintings are realistic, delicate and beautiful.

This talented artist started his career in 2003, after turning 40 years old. Leclercq’s hard work and effort, along with the study of the great academic artists allowed him to succeed in his artistic career. In 2012 he was one of the finalists of the 11th International ARC competition and has showcased his work in many galleries and exhibitions in France.

“Conque”, painting by Jean-Pierre Leclercq

In this Q&A French artist Jean-Pierre Leclercq shares with PoseSpace an interesting story of how he got into art, which artists have influenced his work and how the Art Renewal Center inspired his artistic career:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist? 

I never really wanted to become an artist. I love art, all kinds of art. I also play music but for me drawing comes naturally. It has always been there; paper and colored pencils were part of my childhood. I didn’t choose an artistic career because mathematics was safer and, since I am colorblind, painting usually ruined my drawings. It was during my forties that I joined artist’s workshops and where I discovered that I could draw with pastels, at first because the colors were written on the sticks, and later I got into painting by selecting the colors I needed carefully and by frequently asking people around me for feedback.

How did you get started with New Realism Art?

My interest in academic painters allowed me to discover the ARC and all this movement of renewal of this painting style. I had the chance to live in Versailles for a long time and I was able to visit the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay regularly.

Which painters have influenced you? Any contemporary artist?

First the 19th-century painters, French artists like Gérôme, Bouguereau, Lefevre, Cabanel, and others like Waterhouse ou Alma-Tadema. I was also very impressed by an exhibition at the Petit Palais on Sargent and Sorolla. Among contemporary painters, I particularly enjoy Zhaoming Wu and Jeremy Lipking for their lights. I am fascinated by Roberto Ferri’s flesh and I had the pleasure of doing a one-week internship with Shane Wolf who is a great painter and a great teacher. 

“Olivia 1” by Jean-Pierre Leclercq inspired by oliviap051 

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

I love Olivia Preston and I am working on a long project with Thea.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about. 

About the sketch I learned the hard way that you always have to fix the graphite pencil before painting. Besides, I only use charcoal for my preparatory sketches.

Jean-Pierre Leclercq’s website: http://www.jpleclercq.fr

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jp.leclercq

Artquid: https://www.artquid.com/artist/jpleclercq/jean-pierre-leclercq.html

Interview and translation by Andrea Miliani. 

Original responses:

When did you first know you wanted to become an artist? 

Je n’ai jamais vraiment voulu être un artiste. J’aime les arts, tous les arts. Je fais aussi de la musique mais pour moi le dessin est juste naturel. Il a toujours été là, feuilles et crayons ont accompagné mon enfance. Je n’ai pas choisi une carrière artistique car les mathématiques étaient plus sûrs et comme je suis daltonien la peinture venait souvent gâcher mes dessins. C’est vers la quarantaine que j’ai intégré des ateliers d’artistes et où j’ai découvert que je pouvais dessiner aux pastels tout d’abord parce que la couleur était inscrite sur les bâtons puis je me suis mis à la peinture en sélectionnant bien les couleurs à utiliser et en demandant régulièrement un retour de la part de mon entourage.

How did you get started with New Realism Art?

Mon intérêt pour les peintres “académiques” m’ont permis de découvrir l’ARC et tout ce mouvement de renouveau de ce style de peinture. J’ai eu la chance de vivre longtemps à Versailles et de pouvoir assez facilement et donc très régulièrement me rendre au Louvre et au musée d’Orsay.

Which painters have influenced you? Any contemporary artist?

Tout d’abord les peintres du XIX, les français comme Gérôme, Bouguereau, Lefevre, Cabanel et d’autre comme Waterhouse ou Alma-Tadema. J’ai aussi été très marqué par une exposition au Petit Palais sur Sargent et Sorrola. Parmi les peintres contemporains, j’apprécie particulièrement Zaoming Wu et Jeremy Lipking pour la lumière. Je suis fasciné par les chairs chez Roberto Ferri et j’ai eu le plaisir de suivre un stage d’une semaine avec Shane Wolf qui est un grand peintre et un grand professeur.

Do you have a favorite PoseSpace.com model?

J’adore Olivia Preston et je travaille sur un long projet avec Thea.

Tell us one thing you thought you knew, that it later turned out you were wrong about. 

A propos de l’esquisse j’ai appris à mes dépens qu’il faut toujours fixer le crayon graphite avant de peindre. D’ailleurs je n’utilise plus que du fusain pour mon dessin préparatoire.

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