If there is ever an ardent supporter and champion of marine conservation, it is none other than Marie Antuanelle. This Sydney-based abstract artist from Siberia recreates the pristine beauty of popular beaches and favorite ocean reserves in her paintings and depicts them as completely untouched by humans.
Antuanelle is no ordinary artist. She not only uses colors, but also adorns her paintings with whatever she can find on the beaches she travels to, including gemstones, pearls, seashells and Swarovski crystals. The deliberate erasure of human presence on the beaches in her paintings is her attempt to make them look pure and untainted, conveying a strong message about the importance of marine conservation.
Antuanelle grew up in Siberia at the time of Perestroika that changed the political landscape of the Soviet Union. In the turmoil that followed due to various economic and other reasons, she managed to maintain her sanity by immersing herself in creative and artistic pursuits, which became her world.
What fueled her passion for art was the huge collection of books at home. These included books on art, culture, colorful reproductions of artists, such as Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Monet, Sezanne and many more. In addition, there were books on the traditional ethnic jewelry of different tribes of the country with head pieces and crowns decorated with gold and colorful gemstones.
Antuanelle also got introduced to natural minerals that her parents – both hiking and mountain climbing enthusiasts – had collected. These included a Mystic Quartz weighing almost a kilo, a fist-sized Tiger Eye,Labradorites, Turquoise and many others.
Antuanelle browsed these books, played with the stones and involved herself in painting, while looking after her toddler brother and sister. In those trying times, this became her therapy and restored her peace of mind.
Besides learning art at an art school, she spent her summer holidays at her grandmother’s place. It was she who ignited her passion for creativity and taught her to make textile wall hangings, knitting, and the like. Not only this, she spent her three-month summer break on the beach that inspired her art.
Antuanelle transforms into a professional artist
It was her grandmother’s influence that motivated Antuanelle to become an artist. Although she had been painting since she was just five years old, her professional journey as a commercial artist began only five to six years ago, when she moved to Australia. Before this, she was a successful national sales executive for Proctor & Gamble.
It is Antuanelle’s hunger for capturing different oceans under the slogan ‘Four oceans in seashells, resin and fire that makes her unique. She uses fire and liquid glass (epoxy resin), seashells, pearls, gemstones and Swarovski crystals to portray the emotions that different beaches evoke in her.
Antuanelle’s art technique
To capture the full extent of the beach Antuanelle sometimes uses drone photography. The vivid colors of the sea and the beach inspire her. To create what she feels, she first pours the liquid medium on a canvas and then manipulates it by tilting the canvas and using different sticks to spread the liquid. Then she leaves it alone for the liquid to set.
It takes Antuanelle a few days to finish a painting,since liquid medium needs setting. After a layer is set, she adds another. The result is an incredible in-depth painting with unique organic shapes and translucent water-like epoxy resin that gives it an amazingly natural effect.
Asked what Antuanelle likes about being an artist, she says, “Freedom, you’re your own boss. You can affect so many people through your art….” And she does affect people and her fan following of over 47,000 on Instagram is a testimony to that.
Antuanelle’s message to all is a quote of Napoleon Hill: ‘Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.’
Ocean Resin Art | Marie Antuanelle