Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Feature: Olivia Quintin

Hi Everyone,
'Self Portrait' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

Today I'm featuring Olivia Quintin.  Her art work is so expressive and beautiful!  The way she handles her watercolors are inspiring and I am thrilled to say I own an Olivia Quintin original.  Olivia is French and her English is much better than my French will ever be.  She has kindly answered my questions in English.

To see more of Olivia's work check out her blog  .

How did you get your start?
What’s your artist journey so far?

I am drawing since I was a young girl, but I didn’t have a regular practice.
Was very attracted by every manual labor and more generally, all creative things.
Since I am 10 years old, I sew and I knit !

When I met my husband, he was used to painting.
I looked at him with envy without daring really to try.
He likes painting very slowly and minutely.

This way of painting didn’t correspond to my character! You know we are both opposite characters...

I loved to see watercolors of landscapes end of sea subjects.
One day, I decided to try that medium. It seems to be so light and transparent.
I liked at once.  I bought all the equipment the same day (this day was a real ruin for my bank account) and since this day, I ‘ve painted in watercolor. Until 2009, I painted in a irregular way and for 2 years, I swim in the watercolor!
I hope it will be like that all the rest of my life .
'Elyse' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin portrait of her daughter

Where were you born?
If you could live anywhere where would you live?

I am born in Brittany, France. I spent my childhood in Saint-Malo but my parents were born in Morbihan, where I live today. Always near the sea. I can’t stand very well to stay too long time far away the sea.  I love the place I live the “ Gulf of Morbihan “, so beautiful. I don’t want to live anywhere else.  I am feeling so good here. Colors are beautiful here, always changing, and there are so quiet places!

A lot of painters love Brittany . Do you know Pont-Aven ? Do you know Belle Ile en mer?
'Sunset' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin (This is the painting I own:)

What’s your favorite thing to paint and why?

Well, I first painted Brittany and sea landscapes.
Last year I painted a series of fishes. I imagined their life. Sometimes with human characters.
I did the same with sea birds.  Then I begun to paint flowers, fresh or faded . Expression of how I feel most of the time .  Now, I paint more and more portraits, characters. Friends, family, figures that tells me a story.  Always in a colored mood.
'I Am Woman of 40' watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

Which of your paintings was the most enjoyable to paint? Which was the most difficult?

The painting which was so joyful is “ I am a forty years old woman “. Expressed 40 years behind me and 40 years in front of me. Middle of my life. It was so personal.

The most difficult is not a painting. The most difficult thing is to stay free with the painting !
'Rain or Shine on Houat' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin
 Do you have a favorite artist?  Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I love Klimt, Claude Monet, Van gGogh.
I love Monet’s look on nature.

What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your well being/success as an artist?

Arches paper, a lot of different colors, a good subject and good music ! I am so inspired by music. Jazzy mood, most of the time.  I paint in my studio which is in the attic of my old house .
'Amelie' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin
 Do you have go-to paints/colors, what are your favorites?

Indigo, van dyke brown,  vivid green, lemon yellow, perm magenta, cobalt blue deep, raw sienna.

Do you ever get artist’s block? And what do you do to overcome it?

I don't have an artist block all the time, but my head is going so far away sometimes. I note my ideas on a paper .
'The Red Floral Wall' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

What would like to happen in your life in the next five years? Dream big here:)

I’d love to live for painting all the day. If ever, my watercolors could allow me to live, it should be the most beautiful dream.

What is your advice for other artists who are just getting started in their career?

Painting what they want and how they want and not what people like.
I think painting has to be sincere to be loved.

What is the best advice that you have received as an artist?

Don’t be afraid ! Every time I paint I have to remember this sentence.
'Grand Duke of Sleepless Nights' original watercolor on paper by Olivia Quintin

Chocolate or vanilla?
Vanilla. I don’t like so much chocolate. But you know I live near the sea, I am a salt mouth !

Sunny beach or rustic mountain retreat?

Sunny beach ( I paint on the beach sometimes )

Book or movie?

Book !
I don’t watch TV. My daughter has to help me every time... My god !

Favorite author?

Eric Emmanuel Schmitt.

Favorite movie?

Into the wild.

Romance or comedy?

Both !

Favorite ice cream flavor?


Night owl or morning person?

Both ! Days and nights are not long enough to do all I want to !
But a bit tired sometimes....

Cake or Cupcakes?

Cupcakes : they are so pretty !

Hope everyone enjoyed this interview.  A big thank you to Olivia for taking the time for an interview, I've learned more about you and some day hope to visit your town in France:)
See you Monday,



  1. Wonderful interview! Olivia seems to be much as I imagine her to be.

  2. Thank you so much Carrie. You are a real sweat heart ! Bises.

  3. Carrie, it should be a great plesure to meet you one day, and painting together, why not?

  4. Un très bel interview... Et comme je vous comprends Olivia, que la Bretagne est belle!
    J'aime l'authenticité de vos oeuvres. Elles ont une pureté et une spontanéité qui me touchent...
    Merci Carrie pour ce beau partage.
    Gros bisous

  5. Carrie, thank you for the interview with Olivia. I've followed her blog for some time. It was such a pleasure to find out more about her. She's absolutely delightful and her art is fabulous.

  6. Wow - I can see why you enjoy her art! It's gorgeous! Especially thhe portraits! It's so nice to read about other artists. What a lovely idea :0)

  7. i can't tell you how much i'm enjoying this series carrie! discovering work like this and learning about who created them is such a treat and so inspirational! thank you!

  8. Thanks for introducing me to Olivia's work, Carrie. her style is so unique and fluid - lovely!
    Enjoy your wknd. xx

  9. Olivia's art is outstanding! thanks for sharing.

  10. Wonderful interview ! I totally agree with that:
    "Painting what they want and how they want and not what people like.
    I think painting has to be sincere to be loved."
    It's what I do for 30 years ago !
    Thanks to Carry and Olivia.
    Muriel Buthier-Chartrain

  11. Thank you for your nice comments. I am feeling so happy !!! Bises.

  12. Muriel, I love your "free-style" !