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.
That series was inspired by spiritual aspirations, symbolism, travel, music, and dreams.
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.