The Art of Legacy: A Talk With Fabienne Delacroix

“Le Moulin Rouge et la Place Blanche,” acrylic on board, 21″ x 28″ (54 x 73cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie

Step into a whimsical realm of nostalgia and enchantment with the stunning artwork of Fabienne Delacroix! As the talented offspring of the renowned naïf master painter Michel Delacroix, Fabienne has carved out a name for herself with her mesmerizing portrayals of the picturesque French countryside and coastal regions.

She is a true master of capturing light and color, and her use of acrylics, gouache, and watercolors will take your breath away. From the dazzling seascapes to idyllic pastoral landscapes and the charming streets of Paris, her paintings are a feast for the eyes, sure to leave you awestruck. Each brushstroke and stroke of color is carefully considered, making her work a true masterpiece.

Join us for an exclusive look into the mind of a talented artist currently residing in Paris, France. Fresh from her latest exhibition, “La Belle Époque,” at the renowned Hugo Galerie in Soho, New York, discover the sources of creativity, motivation, and mediums behind her masterpieces. This is a one-of-a-kind chance to gain an in-depth understanding of the artistic process and see the world through the eyes of a true master. Don’t miss this opportunity to be moved by the beauty and wonder of art.

Unleash the story of how your father, an artist himself, ignited your passion for art at a young age, and the exciting and adrenaline-pumping experience of exhibiting your own paintings for the first time at a gallery in California at the young age of ten. How did this experience shape your artistic journey?

From a young age, painting alongside my father became a cherished pastime that filled my leisure hours. My earliest memories of wielding a paintbrush date back to when we lived in the United States, around the age of 8. Upon our return to France, my passion for painting was solidified. As I entered junior high, my father, in an effort to encourage me, offered to take a few of my small paintings to display at an exhibition in Carmel, California. I was ecstatic, and even more so when they all sold! The amount may have been small, just $100, but for the young girl I was, it was an extraordinary accomplishment. Fueled by this success, I began to tackle larger canvases, and even a series on the castles of the Loire.

The funny thing is, many years later, I ended up meeting one of those first collectors at a solo exhibition.

35 years have passed since then, and I have painted over 1500 canvases.

Continuing your father’s legacy and keeping his style of painting alive is no small feat. Can you tell us about your journey in doing so? What have been some of the challenges you’ve faced along the way? How have you navigated these challenges and kept your father’s legacy alive through your art?

The history of art is filled with families and lineages of artists – think of the Lippis, Bruegels, Renoirs, and Valadons/Utrillos. It’s only natural for the torch to be passed down to the next generation, like a relay race. As I look back and reflect on my own journey as an artist, I am proud to be part of this rich heritage, while also forging my own path and breaking free from it over the years.

Tell me, how have you carved out your own niche and made a name for yourself as a one-of-a-kind, gifted artist? What elements of your work or artistic approach do you believe make you stand out from your peers in the industry?

I believe that what sets my paintings apart from the rest is their timelessness. They are not influenced by fleeting trends or fashions, but instead, they stand on their own, defying the norm. They have a timeless quality that allows them to remain relevant and beautiful, even as styles and fads come and go. My paintings have the power to bring a sense of calm and reassurance, a welcome respite in a world that can be chaotic and uncertain.

If you were to share some words of wisdom with emerging artists who are striving to establish themselves in the art industry, what would they be?

If you’re looking to make a name for yourself in the art world, my best advice is to roll up your sleeves and put in the work. Becoming an accomplished artist is no small feat, and it takes years of hard work and dedication. While some folks may have a natural talent, for most of us it’s a slow and steady climb to artistic maturity. And remember, being an artist is not just a job, it’s a lifestyle that requires an unwavering, almost spiritual commitment. But, the most important advice is to always believe that the best of your work is yet to come.

When it comes to painting, how do you navigate the diverse world of mediums such as acrylics, gouache, and watercolor? Is there one medium that you find yourself particularly drawn to, or do you enjoy experimenting with them all?

I’ve got a bit of a one-track mind when it comes to painting mediums – acrylics on wood board is my go-to every time. In the past, I dabbled with oil paints but the long drying time, the pungent smell and the hazardous thinners were just too much of a hassle. But, let me tell you, acrylics have come a long way. The pigments are just as rich and vibrant as oils, so I made the switch and never looked back.

“L’Art de Vivre,” acrylic on board, 9½” x 7½” (24 x 19cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie
“La Robe Rouge,” acrylic on board, 10″ x 8″ (27 x 22cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie
“L’le de Sein,” acrylic on board, 18″ x 21″ (46 x 55cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie
“Le Bord de l’Eau Hommage a Marquet,” acrylic on board, 10″ x 13″ (27 x 35cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie

You’ve built a reputation for your breathtaking seascapes and idyllic rural landscapes. But, you’ve also recently ventured into painting bustling cities like New York and Boston. Can you take us through this shift in your artistic focus and what ignited this new direction?

In the past, I have explored the beauty of the countryside and the seascape in my art. However, my focus shifted to the charming city of Paris, when I found myself living abroad and longing for my home. I was literally touched by nostalgia, in the etymological sense of the ancient Greek term nóstos (“return”) and, álgos (“pain”); that is, “homesickness”. Similarly, I find myself occasionally painting views of New England and New York, as these places hold a special place in my heart as well, as I used to call them home.

“La Tour Eiffel Depuis la Maison de Balzac,” acrylic on board, 16″ x 13″ (41 x 33cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie

Your art masterfully captures the essence of the changing seasons, transporting us to a simpler, quieter time. It’s a nostalgic feeling that is hard to put into words. Can you take us through your artistic process of evoking this sense of longing in your work?

The seasons are a true blessing for an artist, they bring with them a constant change and inspiration. During my decade spent living abroad in a country where summer never seems to end, I came to appreciate the nuances of the different seasons even more. Winter and fall hold a special place in my heart, the delicate hues and subtleties of the tones are truly incomparable.

“Notre-Dame au Ciel Rose,” acrylic on board, 21″ x 28″ (54 x 73cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie
“Les Noctambules,” acrylic on board, 10″ x 8″ (25 x 20cm), Fabienne Delacroix, Photo: Courtesy of HUGO Galerie

How has your journey as an artist evolved over time? Are there any notable milestones or accomplishments that you look back on with a sense of pride?

My artistic journey has been a testament to the power of hard work and perseverance. But, I couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support of those around me. From the very beginning, I’ve been fortunate to have been surrounded by people who believed in me and shared my work ethic and values. A career in art is all about collaboration, and my partnership with Reco Sturgis, the owner and founder of HUGO Galerie, has been a key element of that journey. We’ve been working together for many years.

I am incredibly fortunate, but at the same time, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride when I think about the 1500 paintings I’ve created and sold. It’s a true testament to the hard work and determination I’ve put in, and the courage it takes to put your art out into the world.

Your artwork is treasured in private and public collections, including the International Museum of Naïve Art of Magog and the Salon of Naïve and Intuitive Art. How does it feel to see your creations being permanently displayed among such esteemed collections?

I am beyond thrilled that my work is showcased in museums, it is a tremendous honor and recognition of my talent. It is a testament to the journey I have been on so far, and yet, I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.

What message or theme do you hope to convey through your art?

My art is simply meant to bring joy, nothing more and nothing less. I don’t have any hidden agendas or ulterior motives.