I started painting with acrylic on canvas while living in Bali, Indonesia. (I could roll the canvases and ship them back home.) Acrylic is water based, so travel-friendly. It allowed me larger formats than watercolor, and thicker layering. Later when I moved to the USA I taught myself oil painting on canvas, and oil & egg tempera on Masonite.
The “Paintings” Portfolios
Travelling all these months in Asia deeply inspired me. I was in a state of contemplation of cultures I discovered, and aware of my youth and ignorance. All I could do was let myself open and try and reach for the world.
Upon my arrival in New York I met my friend Jeremiah Hawkins. We partnered in collaboration where he would tell me about the Tarot, and I would paint it. These paintings are 24” x 36” and are published under the name “Sylvie Germain [my maiden name] and Jeremiah Hawkins’s Tarot”, in the phenomenal “Encyclopedia of Tarot” by Stuart Kaplan, Volume II.
I travelled to Peru with Shan in 1986 and upon return painted with oil and egg tempera, on larger formats. I was looking into different structures in composing the image, much like the stones and walls of Machu Picchu are reminiscent of other structures in past cultures.
I started painting symbolic landscapes with elements of day, night, light, shadows, rivers, and mountains. Later when we found our place upstate, I just kept on painting the country as I saw it.