François Médard EN



“ [...] At the outset it seemed to me that I knew this new music, and later, on thinking it over, I understood whence came this mirage; it seemed to me that this music was mine, and I recognized it in the way that any man recognizes the things he is destined to love. [...] ”
Letter from Charles Baudelaire to Richard Wagner, February 17th 1860*. 

When I was a child, climbing stairs two at a time to go to my bedroom, I used to fall face to face with a large painting: a foggy ochre-coloured sky with silvery touches outlining a plane. The plane was frozen in the oil painting. It seemed to me that it was coming back after a long journey. I found out much later who was the father of the masterpiece that had accompanied my numerous trips up and down the stairs of my house... 

Years later, I saw François Médard as I went back and forth in the hallways of the académie royale des Beaux-Arts in Liège, where I was a student and he a teacher. With his singular hats and clothing, the man intrigued students but, at the same time, was admired by us because of the freedom that emerged from him.

However I didn’t meet him there. 

Always taking his art studio with him - “My studio is the outside world” -, François Médard had been called by nature from an early age. He drew it first and then painted it. The sky became his living model. Whether they are crossed by a plane or not, his paintings recreate as faithfully as possible the perceived light of the furtive moment of a daybreak or twilight, a battle of colours between dawn and dusk, the ultimate fantasy for those who have ever hold a paintbrush in their hand, perilous exercises that have haunted so many artists. 

Here are the strength and purity of François Médard’s artwork: modesty when it comes to practice, humility when it comes to hugeness.
Nomadic painter, he favours watercolour during his numerous travels. It enables him to capture - whether in full nature or on the tarmac - a moment, a vision, a track,... 

“Watercolour, he says, unlike oil painting, guides me so that I become a witness of the bond forged between the colours and the paper.”
Waiting for the next trip in his house at the edge of the world, François Médard accumulates here and there dozens of logbooks, sketchbooks and rolled canvases that make a stopover at the Brasseurs today. 

I meet him here and now. 

Sarah Charlier

*Translation in David McGee, « A letter to Richard Wagner ». The Bluegrass Special, April 2012.