Inside the Studio

Bénédicte Gelé

Favorite materials to work with?
As I have a unique theme, I like to work with lots of media, such as oil, watercolor, pastels, black chalk or black ink. I have a soft spot for black chalk because of its strength and the depth of its black color.

How many years as an artist?
I have always drawn but I really started my horse research in 2004.

Where is your studio?
In my home, in a bedroom (without a bed…).

What themes do you pursue?
Horses. I know this is a difficult subject. Of course, the horse is a wonderful animal, but I try to find a way to portray it so that it resonates with everyone – those who love horses, those who don’t particularly like them, or those who don’t know the animal. I don’t want them to fall in love with horses; I just want them to feel emotion through them.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Music. I paint in energy.

Where can we find you outside the studio?  
With my horse or reading a book.

What’s around the corner from your place?
The ocean.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?
Recently, I found a deep interest (don’t laugh please…) in the natural hoof care for horses. I think I could do that. I’m fascinated by their feet (no feet, no horse, according to the famous expression).

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?  

Art school or self-taught?
Both! I went to an art school to be graphic designer, so I had good basis, and then I always looked to follow my obsession and search for my purpose by myself.

Favorite contemporary artist?  
Ben Ami Koller, who unfortunately died in 2009, 2 months after I met him.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
One of Ben Ami Koller’s works.

Use anything other than paint?
Pastels and black chalk.

Is painting dead?
Not as long as the mother of horses is dead.

Favorite brush?
I use a fan brush with pastels and black chalk.

Palette knifes?
I love the line, but I can’t draw lines with this tool.

Monet or Manet?
Monet for pure shapes and their effectiveness, and Manet for his use of black.