Swan Scalabre

Artist Q&A with Swan Scalabre

Swan practice is inspired by the images of Épinal from her childhood. She created her female portraits from tales stories, classical movies, and their iconographies. The artist graduated from The Beaux-Arts in Paris, and her career has since driven her to be eclectic. Her work reflects her own artistic journey. With her paintings on wood, watercolors drawings, private notebooks, and secret boxes, Swan builds a rich pictorial universe revealing step by step a world that belongs only to her.

“Ornements n6”, oil on wood, 8 x 6 in | 20 x 15 cm, 2021

Who is your favorite artist of all time?

One of my favorite painters is Joannes Vermeer. I discovered not long ago that my ancestors were Flemish, so it further reinforced my attraction for the artist. I particularly like the mystery and poetry of his works. The small size of the canvases is also a modest common point with my own work.

How did you become a professional artist?

I always drew and painted growing up, and after graduating from the Beaux-Arts de Paris, friends and collectors started becoming interested in work. I never looked back.

What are the influences and inspirations in your work?

My inspiration is essentially the image of women. I seek an absolute truth through my portraits, and try to understand their dreams, secrets, and wounds; all with a desire to escape reality.

Swan Scalabre, portrait by Fran Littlewing.

How is your work different than everything else out there?

My work is original by the combination of very small formats that I use combined with the mixture of Onirism and daring time that many find interesting.

When is a piece finished for you?

A painting is completed when the story I tell myself in my mind is presented on the surface.

What’s different about your current body of work?

My current work plays more with abstraction, as opposed to my earlier paintings.

“Noir Absolu n1”, oil on wood, 8 x 6 in | 20 x 15 cm, 2021

Tell us about a few of your career highlights or moments that have greatly affected your career?

My husband gave me a box of oil paint for my birthday a few years ago, and this discovery allowed me to explore light and colors like never before.

What’s coming up for you?

The best I hope!

What advice would you give to an artist just starting out today?

Always be sincere, and not seek to make effects with the technique used.

Who are some of your favorite under appreciated artists that you don’t think get enough attention?

I often like the work of female painters who did not get the proper recognition. Marie Laurencin and Paula Modersohn-Becker are two that come to mind.

“Jardin Clos n1”, oil on wood, 8 x 6 in | 20 x 15 cm, 2021

To learn more about Swan and her work, please visit www.SwanScalabre.com.