“Artist painter – a destiny, a talent, an art one cultivates through life’s experiences…”

This affirmation is most appropriate to the path followed by Odile de Schwilgue. Born in Alsace, she spent the first sixteen years of her life in a small town near Strasbourg. “She did not become a painter by chance.”

She owes her talent to her maternal great-grandmother. At a time when a woman did not fulfil herself in a professional capacity, the latter – despite a premature death – left a varied collection of her work behind, including some superb frescoes in the family home.

Odile has certainly inherited her passion. Everything was a pretext to draw and paint, to the detriment of classes at college which bored her.

At the insistence of her art teacher, and despite her youth, she took an entrance examination at the “Arts Décoratifs de Strasbourg”. and was one of the top ten entrants. During five years of training, and thanks to the teachings of Alsatian artists, she affirmed her talent and her personality as a painter.

Diploma in hand, she left for Paris. There, she joined a group of painters “Figurations critiques” who exhibited regularly at the Grand Palais. To live from her art, she drew “portraits at Montmartre”. This departure, prompted by sentimental reasons as well as a need for independence, led to a painting style that was more assertive and powerful.

A few years later, it was the lure of nature, sunlight and escape that pushed her towards new horizons, far from Paris. Crossing the Atlantic in a yacht, navigating down the Amazonian rivers, and visiting Mexico and its Aztec temples, produced artworks of sensual orchids, marked contrasts, and women clad in Mayan low reliefs.

Four years later, wanting to be known through her paintings, she dropped her sailor’s bag in Antibes on the French Riviera. She has had her studio there for several years.

Odile de Schwilgué: website