Studio Notes

Calligraphy. The brush has started to swim better.

I have been told that my landscapes stretch beyond the expanse. Actually, I have been wandering them for forty years. I have witnessed so many delicious moments that my memory has simply become impregnated with them.

When I am in the process of painting a landscape, it appears as if it emerges from my sight. I completely forget what my hand is doing. I contemplate, then sometimes the dream begins.

The action of painting ends by guiding the gaze towards what it absolutely must not lack.

During the day, in the sky, there is but one source of light. Painting with ink makes light burst forth everywhere.

During the many periods of waiting that interrupt the completing of a watercolour, the silence deepens and intensifies until bringing about “thinking the ink.”

Practicing calligraphy is to enter into a forest of gestures.

The body becomes impregnated with the physical reality of things like the retina is impregnated with the image. What gives life to a painting is the invisible imprint that the body leaves on it.

When I observe things with the dream’s gaze, the dream’s gaze reaches things through me.

The regular practice of Chinese calligraphy reveals that every gesture possesses a skeleton “in the void.”

When I paint a landscape I find myself simultaneously in the paper and in space.

No one thing justifies one aesthetic choice over any other, but beyond the accepted choice, the relationship of effectiveness remains the same. The painting either works or it doesn’t.

The visible is the line of resonance of the Immensity. In painting, the subject must become the place of resonance of the Immensity, and the visible so rendered make tangible an intentional presence in the heart of things.

What is visible in a painted landscape should evoke what is not visible.

The more one practices Chinese calligraphy, the more one has the feeling of swimming within the sign laid down by the brush.

When painting a landscape, one must open it where the visible fades from sight, where it becomes indiscernible, for it is the indiscernible that the landscape brings to light.


Claude Margat
from L’Actualité Poitou-Charentes No. 53