"Art is what excites me and makes me alive."
Véronique Pastor is an illustrator, painter, and also a sculptress. From a French of Spanish-Italian origin, born on September 11, 1962 in Weingarten in Germany, of parents who fled the attacks and massacres in Algeria. She had a happy, simple childhood. Her parents offered her an opening towards spirituality, an inner quest - there was no question of religion. Very young she did meditations: body, mind AND soul. The Soul has always had a primordial place for Véronique Pastor. Her adolescence was tormented, anxious: feelings of discrepancy, of differences with others, of incomprehension - she was reserved, lonely and independent. She was especially stunned by the violence of life, the violence of human relationships, of words, of gestures ... sometimes attitudes. She felt unsuitable for the world - she spoke very little and "took refuge" in her world: that of writing, poetry, drawing, and painting. She looked everywhere for beauty ... and she always looks for it. A lonesome person; solitude is a necessity for her to be and to create. Creating keeps her alive.
After a classical artistic training at the Maldant workshop in Compiègne from 1981 to 1985, she continued for a further year the course of Nicole Vatinel's workshop in Laon (living models). Then for several consecutive years, she exhibited regularly in the south of France before setting up her own workshop in St Léger le Guérétois (23) in order to develop her pictorial work also in the field of sculpture. It is also in Creuse where in 2019 Véronique Pastor opened a personal exhibition space in which she invited artists to show their works: "Le Radeau-Lavoir." Since 2014 her work has been accompanied by the Galerie des Marches in Aubusson, the Sens Interior gallery in Port Cogolin, and since 2018 by Point Rouge Gallery in St Rémy-de-Provence.
Véronique Pastor’s artwork is an open door to another world… another dimension. It allows for your own truths to flourish. Her artwork is not just a matter of seeing, but that of feeling. It is having a need to form a connection, although you can’t comprehend where it stems from. Simply put, it is where the soul speaks for itself. And we are offered her art with a mystical tone that brings back memories of non-existent moments.
Q. What role does the Artist have in society?
A. Art grows, raises; the art where the artist opens up that part of the soul that is in each of us.
Q. What’s your best childhood memory?
A. The most beautiful memories of childhood are the large and superb deserted beaches (at the time) of Santa Pola in the south of Alicante in Spain, where we spent one whole month every summer… the sun, the heat, the sea, my family, joy, and a strong sense of freedom.
Q. As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A. I wanted to be an ar(t)cheologist ... I found it fascinating to search the earth and find things from the past ... imagine the lives of others ... touching objects that belonged to other people. The thought of it overwhelms me.
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. My father painted, it was his hobby. I loved the smell of his oil painting. As a teenager, around 12/13 years old my father put me in front of a canvas, and I had to reproduce a work by Cézanne!
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. I don't remember exactly. Art has always been part of my life; at the time I was working on drawing, alone at home. I spent hours and hours retaking the works of the great Masters.
Q. What does your art aim to express?
A. I’m not trying to express anything ... just to express my inner world ... then it’s not mine anymore. Each person who looks sees what he/she must see: the mirror of their "life", of his own emotions. There is the part that I put in my work, and then there is the part of the one who looks at it.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it.
A. I work a lot every day; I am a “hard worker”. I have to experiment for myself, I search for it for… it's like music - you have to do your scales every day until one once is able to go beyond technique, and thus be able to fly away. On paper or canvas I start to make a few lines, put down a few colors, and then gradually things appear, they come to me.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. I haven't sacrificed anything since art is my breath, my soul.
Q. Who are your biggest influences, are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. My influences are El Greco, Rembrandt, Goya or William Blake. And closer to us, Odilon Redon.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. I work in the secret of the workshop, in the mystery of creation, alone with myself. It takes a lot of time and energy ... it's a lot of loneliness, but it doesn't weigh on me when I work. But there are other times when you have to eat, see shows, exhibitions, the art of others ... and regularly I also need to see friends-artists, to exchange, to share ... without speaking of nature to breathe and center myself!
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Contemplate nature - read - share with friends.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. The key words in art for me: work and confidence! But doubt often takes precedence.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. "Success" for me is being who I am; is to realize myself fully, to be in harmony with myself.
Q. What are the biggest things you've learned in life thus far?
A. The biggest things I have learned in life are humility, caring and sharing.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. A few years ago Jacques Harbelot, artist, said to me "do what is yours! "
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Advice to the next generation: "Do what is yours! "