61 rue de Belgique
50120 Equeurdreville Hainneville
“The soul speaks and moves us to create beauty”
A perfectionist (perhaps overly so), Ginou Loir is first and foremost a woman of faith, in love with beauty and exactness in all areas of life. Following the example of the Divinity, for which “everything is good and beautiful,” she strives to make her life a work of art, encouraging others to follow her example and systematically refusing all the negative aspects of that which is commonly called “reality”. Very curious about everything, Ginou is also fond of beautiful literature. Passionate about words, she easily quotes Aristotle, Breton, or the Bible, which is her ultimate reference. She already has a very full life behind her, though this has barely quenched her thirst for learning, studying, and running or involving herself in humanitarian agencies such as Amnesty International. For 26 years, she saw to the smooth running of a restaurant in Equeurdreville (Manche) by her husband’s side, then, towards the age of fifty, she went for a ready-to-wear fashion store. At the age of 70, she experimented with the Internet and at the age of 75, she took up “the art of sound” by way of the violin, filling her house with the sound of birdsong. That’s how insatiable Ginou is!
It was at the age of 50 that, answering “a divine call”, she woke up one fine morning “with three paintbrushes in her hand”. That very afternoon, her husband procured her a set of artistic tools, which she has put to good use ever since, employing different mediums including oils, watercolours, pastels and charcoals. Ginou Loir has never learnt how to paint. For her, painting is a matter between God and herself. “When we put our trust in him,” she tells us, “anything is possible.” She therefore has no need for lessons or ongoing training. “Art can only imitate the world’s beauty,” she says, following the example of André Breton. Ginou always paints to music because, to complete a piece, she needs “melodic beauty” and to be receptive and at peace with herself so as to have a better feel for what she is doing. First, she will study her subject, sketching it either on the spot before a raging sea or from a photo. She finds it difficult to work to commission because the approach somewhat escapes her. Her work is entirely figurative.
Even if the artist’s very first works were reproductions of landscapes, houses or villages, her favourite themes are on the whole more varied. However, she tirelessly returns to flowers, still-life, the sea and waves, nature, and portraits of family members or strangers, in which she faithfully renders the expressions. Subjects include her great-granddaughter in charcoal, a former town mayor, and a very fine nude, too. There is a very polished copy of a magnificent vase of lilacs in a fairly large format layered with a multitude of nuances. The same can be said of a very fine little bouquet of hydrangeas from the garden and a bouquet in pastels that could be a botanical illustration. A large pink peony is handled with broad blocks of colour. A refined watercolour of Le Cap Lévi (Manche) was painted after a photo. A chalk portrait of her granddaughter with her horse reveals very fine work around the eyes whilst a Mont-Saint-Michel is delineated in countless shades.
Then it is back to the theme of the sea with “Clair de lune à Jobourg” (“Jobourg in the Moonlight”) and the storm over Goury. Water and the sea undeniably remain very present, whether in Normandy or abroad, in oil, pastel or chalk. Take for example her landscape of the Cotentin Peninsula and its little port, the storm, where the movement could not be more realist, and the “Dunes of Biville” in black and white. The artist ultimately admits that, younger, she would no doubt have enjoyed restoring artworks and frescoes. For the time being, having been awarded by the region’s Navy, she exhibits her work in the Cotentin every two years. Consistent with her high standards in everything, Ginou Loir insists on the fact that “One must be true to oneself before being so with others.”
Elisabeth LE BORGNE, critique d'art