I am a contemporary artist with a background in architecture, living and working in Lyon, France.
My style is modern impressionist, semi-abstract and in some cases with expressionist influences.
I am fascinated by the explosive textures and the intense chromatic that you can explore and reinvent by working the medium of oil painting. The palette knife oil painting technique that I developed over the years confers expressiveness to my paintings and an amazing three dimensional aspect. It can be seen as a form of textural impressionism, as I use thick layers of oil paint to achieve a vibrant movement in my works.
Most of my oeuvre focuses on the city life and urban spaces. In addition, I enjoy applying and developing my skills through the exploration of other subjects as still lifes, flowers, animals, landscapes, figures.
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. In my urban landscapes I merge the experience of architectural drawing concepts with the freedom, the strength and the energy that Palette Knife Painting allows me to express in a world of tones and colourful hues.
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What’s your background?
I am a painter and architect currently living in Lyon, France, originally from Bucharest, Romania. 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 will never forget our long hours of drawing and painting together or practicing the piano, since I was just a few years old.
A Summer in Lyon ©Mona EdulescoRegarding 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. I don’t regret my choice, I think that the 6 years of architectural drawing studies completed very well my art ones and today I feel confident in myself whatever I draw or I paint. Immediately after graduating the faculty I was hired in an Architecture Office in Bucharest, my first job. At the same time I started my Master and I also taught as an assistant teacher in the small years of Landscape Design and the Urbanism Faculty, an experience that I remember with great pleasure. I opened an architecture and urban design business in Bucharest at the same period of time, we had beautiful, varied projects and collaborations with talented colleagues. Meantime I had a great opportunity to work for a few months in an interior architecture office in Paris, a unique experience that brought me a lot of satisfaction. It was then when I irremediably fell in love with this amazing city. Maybe this is why I love so much to paint it.
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.
Does your artwork come from that background?
Yes, it surely does. As a result of my education and experience, most of my oeuvre focuses on the city life and urban spaces. However, I also enjoy applying and developing my skills through the exploration of other genres as florals, landscapes, animals, figures… I work predominantly in oils, but create also works in pastel, acrylic, watercolour, ink and charcoal. I love to attend live model classes when I have the chance. I am doing this since high school and I consider it is an excellent exercise to practice your drawing skills.
Regarding my urban paintings, I have always loved to approach them in a myriad of ways. They have a particularity as I enjoy stylizing architectural forms in various manners. This has always been one of my goals, even a preoccupation from the time I was studying at the school of architecture until the present. The versatility of oil paint along with my prototypic work with palette knives allows me to play with the urban forms abstracting the city in an unconstrained manner.
What are you trying to say with your work?
My style is modern impressionist, semi-abstract and in some cases with post-impressionist and expressionist influences. I am fascinated by the explosive textures and the intense chromatic that you can explore and reinvent by working the medium of oil painting. The palette knife oil painting technique that I developed over the years confers expressiveness to my paintings and an amazing three dimensional aspect. It can be seen as a form of textural impressionism, as I use thick layers of oil paint to achieve a vibrant movement in my works.
Regarding the creative process of my work, the main idea can be an emotional impulse, a special moment in my life or a place that particularly touched me. 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. In my urban landscapes I merge the experience of architectural drawing concepts with the freedom, the strength and the energy that Palette Knife Painting allows me to express in a world of tones and colourful hues.
I also love to paint landscapes, floral or trees… I have a rich imagination, I often find myself daydreaming about things and places that nobody else is feeling or dreaming about. All those sensations, thoughts and images I incorporate in my art. Each painting is an experience, enriching my inner self. Thus was born my series of phantasmagorical landscapes, especially the ones representing the Northern Lights in my personal vision. I am deeply fascinated by this wonder of Nature and it inspires me a lot.
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I believe painting is more than a combination of nice colors. It needs to pass on a message, to raise a reaction. Painting is one way mean of communication. The message of the surroundings – an unique combination of personal impulses – is immortalized and time stops. This message is being reflected in the eyes of the beholder. Thinking beautifully isn’t enough; it is essential to be able to accomplish the beauty of our thinking.
What made you choose the medium you work with?
In the past years I specialized in textural impasto palette knives oil paintings. I just love the amazing textures that I can achieve by working the medium of oil painting in the impasto technique. I usually work with heavy textures and I love the vibrant dynamic color schemes. I mostly use a variety of palette knives in the realization of my impasto works, sometimes in combination with brushes for the underpainting. Many of the art collectors that purchased my original paintings told me that this is what they love a lot at my works, the incredible textures that seems pop out the canvas, giving life to the painting.
Do you work in a studio?
Yes, I do. I am working at home, but I set up one of the rooms as my studio. It is a beautiful place, an apartment style haussmannien in Lyon, from 1890. I believe in the energy of a place and this one it truly has positive vibes for me. The truth is that I would manage to set up a corner studio and to paint comfortable almost everywhere. As soon as I have my colors and my palette knives everything goes perfect.
What is the one thing in your studio you just could not be without?
My first thought went of course towards my painting tools, like my palette knives, my colors, my Easel… Actually thinking better I realize that my computer/my smartphone connected to the internet are as well indispensable… Especially because I use as reference for many of my painting photos that I took during my travels. Also because I display and sell my art mostly online so I keep the contact with my followers and I regularly add new artworks on my online shops and share them on my social media platforms.
Who are your biggest influences?
I have always been inspired and 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 is your favourite piece of work by yourself?
It is very difficult to choose one in particular, as I am very fond of many of my paintings. However, I have a special feeling for my “Nightfall over Lyon”, a large nightscape canvas of 116×81 cm that I painted in 2017 and shortly after have sold it to an art collector in Canada. This modern impressionist palette knives oil painting captures one of the most beautiful squares in Lyon, La Place des Terreaux. The impressive facade of Hotel de Ville shines in the night…while people with red umbrellas are rushing under a burst of evening rain, each with their life stories…
How much time (on average) does it take to complete a work?
Referring to a palette knives oil painting, it depends very much on the complexity of the subject and the dimensions of the canvas. Small works can take a few hours and large canvases with complex compositions up to two weeks.
How do you know something is ‘finished’? Is it easy to walk away?
I just feel it. I feel when the moment to stop is. Sometimes is totally natural, but occasionally I return and add a few touches to a painting the next day. Especially when I finish it late in the night.
What project are you working on now?
I am working on a series of cityscapes from my recent travels: France, Greece, Spain…and toujours Lyon, my home town.
Actually in this very moment I am working on three commissioned paintings. I often take commissions from collectors. Some of them wish me to paint them recreations of older paintings of mine, others desire new works by sending me their photos as reference.
Lately, I started to realize some process videos of me painting, in time-lapse mode. If you wish to watch them please check them out on my Instagram page or my Facebook page in videos section. I really enjoyed doing them, but I believe they are above all very enjoyable to watch.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Don’t ever stop what you are doing (painting). I remember I had a teacher in elementary school that called my Mom and insisted to enrol me in an art school. That I have lot of talent and it is a pity not to follow this path. I think it was a wise decision that my mother took back then. That’s how I started the formal painting lessons and then the fine arts high school. There were also my family and all my friends who continuously supported me to paint even while I was in the architecture school. Some of them often used to pose as models for me.
What was the first piece of art you sold?
A triptych oil painting of Lyon rooftops that someone commissioned me to paint in 2010.
Do you find it hard to navigate the artworld?
I don’t find it hard, only very demanding. Actually I was always a very techie person and did well with computers and internet. It is true that it demands lot of hard work to marketing your artworks online. And especially lot of time. This would be the only problem in what concerns me… I would love to be able to use this time for painting more.
What are you personally doing to advance your work career?
I paint very much, I paint almost every day. I really take it like a full time job, every morning I enter my studio and start to work… painting, sketching ideas for future works, doing some online marketing… I also organize personal exhibitions in Lyon and I often attend group exhibitions. I am a member of several associations of artists: “La Maison des Artistes Paris”, “Ligne et Couleur Paris – l’association des architectes artistes”, “Fondation Taylor”. I exhibit every year in Paris and occasionally in other European cities, through Ligne et Couleur Association. Last month I took part in a group exhibition in Venice, Italy, where I exposed two of my paintings.
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I was most active on my Instagram account in the past years, as it grows rapidly. I spend enough time for marketing and I think it’s important to be active and visible on the online market. I have an online shop on Fineartamerica.com where I sell prints of my artworks and lots of nice products in addition. I am selling regularly over there, but I have to admit that this demanded lot of marketing work in the past. I also have an online shop for my original paintings on Artfinder gallery which works very well. I make process videos while painting and publish them on my social media platforms. I don’t follow any art trends but I always try to be updated with the new trends and tools in marketing (as for ex on Instagram).
How do you price your work and why do you price it that way?
At the beginning, when I first came up on the art market, I compared my prices with other similar contemporary artists. I tried to fairly and objectively evaluate how my art measures up to other art on the market at that moment. I also took in account that I had art studies and an important experience in the fields of art and architecture. I also consulted some specialists, members of art associations I am part of. They also helped me in correctly choose my prices. With the years passing I started to also take in account other criteria, like all my experience, the number of years since I am working as full time artist and selling, my previous sales history, the time and the investment in one painting (that could change much from one artwork to another). I always price my artworks according to their value, in a fair and reasonable manner.
Do you use social networking in your day to day life?
Yes, I use them every day.
My Instagram: @monaedulescoart
My Facebook page: www.facebook.com/monaedulescoart/
My Twitter: www.twitter.com/monaedulesco
My Fineartamerica shop: https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/mona-edulesco.html
Is there anything that really annoys you about the artworld?
I am very disappointed in people who forge works of art of other fellow artists, rather than being original and creative.
What advice would you give new artists?
To work hard and never stop dreaming.
Have you got hobbies?
I mostly love to paint, that is for sure… However, I don’t think I can consider this my hobby, knowing that now it is my full time job, so yes, I enjoy a lot playing the piano, I love to travel, to read or to watch a good movie.
Where are you based?
I was born in Romania but I am now living in France, in the beautiful Lyon, a city in east-central France in the Rhone-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille.
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