French painter Johanna Dumet fell in love with painting aged four, following a project at school. “Your daughter, she would paint night and day if she could,” her teacher told her mother.
Now exhibiting regularly across Europe and building a large portfolio, she is doing just that: “I’m 28 years old, and can officially call myself a painter!” she tells It’s Nice That. “The four-year-old little me would be so proud.”
Johanna describes her colourful work as “classical”, utilising traditional methods such as canvasses coated with rabbit glue that have been around for centuries. The subject matter, however, has a slightly more modern edge to it: “I generally paint what I see and live in the year 2020, so it looks pretty much contemporary,” she says. “Lots of still life, tables filled with food, coffee, wine, cigarettes. I also paint what nature gives us: fruits, vegetables, flowers, they really are masterpieces and are colours and shapes I will never get tired of.”
Johanna has an open approach to textiles and materials, stemming from studying fashion at University. “As I had one foot in the fashion world, and still make my clothes, I see that there is not so much difference between a piece of clothing and a painting.” She goes on to explain the similarities between a piece of fabric used to make clothes, and that same piece of fabric being stretched over wood to make a canvas. “I still see both as a piece of fabric with colours. OK, they have different functions, but both have a lot to do with aesthetics and beauty.” She blurs the lines of this in her series Portraits of Carpets that are canvases that remain unframed. “These paintings look like textile work because of the fact that the canvas hangs heavily like a textile, but it’s simply a painting.”