Laurence Durieu | Painting her thoughts

Interview D. Foertig
puplished on
April 22, 2021
laurence durieu, contemporary female painter, belgium, emerging artist, magic-realism, surreal, fantastical worls, imagination, memory, oil painting

Who is Laurence Durieu

Laurence Durieu is a Belgian contemporary artist. She was born in 1972 in Brussels, Belgium.

animal art, family, cats, jackdaw, plants, nature, awareness, childhood memories
Laurence Durieu in her studio

Having obtained a master’s degree in economics, she worked and devoted herself to the education of her three children.

After six years of painting lessons at the academy, she now is completely dedicated to what she always wanted to do, which is art.

paintings, contemporary painting , magic realism  animals oil painting  oil on canvas
Butterflies and birds | 2020 | oil on canvas | 100 x 100 cm

She mixes childhood memories with elements of her surroundings – her family, her pets, the place where she lives – and depicts a fantastic world in order to express an awareness of what happens around her.

poetic realism,  figurative gallery, magic-realism,  poetic-realism figurative-art art-gallery
Water | 2020 – 2021 | oil on canvas | 100 x 100 cm

Although the themes are sometimes quite harsh (overconsumption, pollution, drought, ...) she tries to illustrate them beautifully. In her universe, humans and animals come together and form a certain balance in an organized chaos.

9 deeditie louise, dehem,  eervolle vermelding, honor ablemention, louise dehem,
Full moon | 2020 | oil on canvas | 120 x 100 cm

Laurence’s world is characterized by very personal, extraordinary and very detailed compositions which were recently awarded with an honorable mention at the Ypres National Painting Competition Louise Dehem in Belgium.

belgian, artist, oil-painting, oil on canvas, featured artist, munchies art club
The parakeet and the boy | 2019 | oil on canvas | 120 x 100 cm


When / how did you find out you are an artist ?

As a child I enjoyed drawing, walking in the nature and observing birds and other animals with which I imagined myself stories.

online viewing room, realism, surreal, detail, available artworks, female
Sharing | 2020 | oil on canvas | 120 x 100 cm

Without realizing at that time I was already inventing the world of my paintings today.

Much later I decided to take courses at the academy to get into painting.

women art, belgium, brussels, art fair, modern, portrait, story, new,
Work in process

Where, how do you usually get inspired ?

The paintings are generally the result of reflections on current issues (overconsumption, pollution, drought, pesticides, etc.).

To paint them, I use what is around me and mix it all up with childhood memories.

emerging female artist, spotlight, instagram, interview, career change
In the artists studio

When I was five, I was impressed by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s « The Little Prince ».

I was touched by the extract where the Fox proposes the Little Prince to tame him and create a unique link.

pets, cats, birds, children, childhood, memories, visual, life like, authentic
An afternoon in 2050 | 2019-2020 | oil on canvas | 120 x 100 cm

This has triggered something magical in me. I have never seen animals the same way since that day.

They all seem to have become very close and familiar and I was convinced that it was possible to create a special relationship with them.

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The artist with her cat in the studio

By chance, a few years later we fed a baby jackdaw bird who became tamed. He was free to enter and leave our house.

Our relationship was unique.

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The model who fell asleep during labor

One day he came to say goodbye to us before leaving with his fellow jackdaw friends.

This confirmed my thought and dream that it was possible to create unique links with animals.

My inspiration also comes from memories of my grandmother.

She loved the willow porcelain service. In her honor, I added a picture of her in one of my paintings.  

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Laurence Durieu

I am also inspired by some artists such as the Belgian painter Paul Delvaux.

I went to admire his work at the Paul Delvaux Museum in Koksijde and was impressed by the quality, beauty and mystery emanating from his paintings.

microcosmos, creation, reality, home, midlife, organized chaos,
Unboxing | 2021 | oil on canvas | 150 x 100 cm

I listened to several interviews about him, he was a beautiful person that I would have liked to meet.

There are many other artists that I appreciate, ranging from the Renaissance painters to contemporary painters who still inspire me and influence my work.

fantastic worlds, themes, overconsumption, sketch, likeness
Model at work

What does success mean for you ?

I paint what I love, what is close to my heart. I try to paint my thoughts as beautiful as possible, at least to my eyes.

I don’t necessarily think about success, I rather focus on my work.

figure, figurative, depicting, representing, narrating, illustrating, telling,
In the artists studio

How important has digitalization become for you in connection with your art practice ?

I recently discovered Instagram and find it very practical.

By the way, it was thanks to Instagram that I met Munchies Art Club and I am very happy about it.

Upcoming exhibitions

May 1 – May 2 Kunstroute Meise 2021
April 24 - May 23 Exhibition Price Louise Dehem – Het Perron Ieper

Short CV

2021 Ypres National Painting Competition Louise Dehem – rewarded an Honorable Mention 2019 Painting - SLAC Visual & Audiovisual Art, Leuven
2014 Painting - Municipal Academy of Visual Arts J. Portaels, Vilvoorde
2010 Drawing - l’Atelier, Ganges, France

1990 Drawing - Beaux-Arts, Wavre


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A big thank you to the artist Laurence Durieu for sharing her work and her story with us.