Colette Hebert


Tell us about your artistic style?

Technique is never neutral. A fundamental part of the effect of my work is due to my innovative technique from the superpositions from materials considered incompatible like acrylic, oil and gold leaf and ink, etc…. which in addition brings a rich and refined textural element to each piece. Through manipulation with brushes and knives, plastic spatula, the motion becomes the form. I am interested in exploring emotions over depicting reality. I like to understand the relationship between art and life.

What motivates you to create?

Creating art for me is a plunge into the soul. The challenge is to put the entire emotional truth into the image. Art opens the door and takes me into something bigger than myself, and brings a great sense of freedom. I like to explore femininity and sensuality through elements beyond classic imagery. Expressionistic, by definition, with contemporary approaches, to eternal fantasy or perhaps a perpetual dream. I’m identified with the passionate treatment of movement. not any movement, but specifically the sensual and delicate movement of the female body. It connotes women with power, sometimes just at the limit of the figurations and just before the abstract explosion. To put a label, It is a kind of “new figuration”.

Does creating art help you heal?

When I am painting, I get in touch with myself and my soul—me in front of me. No bullshit. It helps to heal from the artificial social experiences we all go through. So I suppose to me and perhaps others this can be thought of as the healing of one’s soul….spiritual healing. If I don’t create, I am not alive!

If you feel comfortable, tell us about the struggles you’ve had either as an artist, or in the process of creating your work

When I am creating my art, I am creating moments when I am looking for a resolution. For example, I am working on a big piece right now, and I am trying to find the right resolution for the bottom part of my painting. When I scan my artwork with my eyes, I want them to scan fluidly. So finding the “right” resolution can be a struggle at times.

Do you have a particular story you’d love to share?

Most people today associate me with Argentine tango. This is because I choose a new medium at the height of my success as a painter, and I choose to paint with my feet. As an artist, I am drawn to emotions, and in tango, you can find a physical and sensual exchange with an emotional connection through your partner’s intimacy. Combination of trust, great respect and feeling of being elevated with a vast bouquet of human emotions. At the time, my friends thought I was crazy to give up my successful career as an artist, but I needed to follow my heart, and it was leading me to tango. So during the day, I was creating and selling my art in all the different galleries that represented my work, and at night, I would dance tango, learning wherever I am, from the best Maestros from Argentina. By chance, I had met my dance partner, my new blank canvas, and within 3 years of training together, we became the US tango champions and finalist at the world Tango championships in Buenos Aires. Fast forward to 30 years, and I have been teaching tango at my dance studio in San Diego, CA. With each student being my new blank canvas. One day, one of my students, an art connoisseur who later became my dance partner, discovered my artistic background as a painter. She immediately commissioned me a painting ready for her coming birthday. Talking of struggle…how am I supposed to remember how to paint after 20 years of not touching my paint brushes. My hand will not know how to move! I was terrified of the idea, and it took me 2 long years before one day, I decided to sit and try. To my surprise, not only was I able to do it but what a happy experience. I didn’t know how happy I am when I paint. I was so thankful for her request; it felt like a resurrection. 

To learn more, please visit Colette Hebert ‘s ARTDEX Profile.

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“When I was a little girl, I’d always volunteer to make the art for the chalkboard for any holiday or events at school. My parents noticed my fondness for colors and drawing and sent me to a private painting school at an early age. But it wasn’t till my apprenticeship with Leslie Schalk where I developed my personality and belief in myself as an artist. I discovered early on that for me, painting is like breathing, it is something I must do daily.”

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