Animating the Abstract with Pol Ledent

Framing the artist Pol Ledent

Bold and uninhibited, Pol Ledent’s works are very much like the man himself. A self-taught artist, Pol Ledent began his artist career with figurative works in watercolour but has transitioned to oil and is known for his distinctive style. The deft brushstrokes and the contrast between bright colours against neutral tones make his artworks captivating. Artflute caught up with the artist to talk about his life, journey with art and his projects.

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I had a late start in art

I had a late start in art. Though I have always been deeply interested in art and drawing, I came from a family that wasn’t financially wealthy, so I had to take the usual route of first heading to school and university to earn a living. Life took a very roundabout route and I became a businessman. After working till the age of 40, I got the opportunity to sell my business for a great price. Picking up the brush and rekindling my love affair with art wasn’t an overnight journey. My father who enjoys painting with watercolour encouraged me to get back to it as a way to use the time I had at hand. Slowly I began with using the nature that surrounded me as inspiration and soon I couldn’t wait to get back to the easel.

Summer walk in the Poppies by Pol Ledent
Summer walk in the Poppies by Pol Ledent

I began with watercolours & then switched to oil

Initially, I took a few drawing lessons in the art academy in Dinant. But I wasn’t too keen to go back to learn art in the traditional manner. I began by painting with watercolours. It was when a well-known painter from my village encouraged me to try painting with oil colours that I felt I had found my favourite medium. I loved dabbling with oils so much that I never stopped. Beginning as a self-taught artist, I have now been painting for 25 years.

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 Painting is my passion

I paint almost everyday, beginning at 9am and painting until noon. I also paint in the afternoon for two hours depending on the light that I get on my verandah. It is like my job. I have never had creative blocks because the more I paint, the more inspiration I have. It is my real passion.

Summer Wildnerness by Pol Ledent
Summer Wildnerness by Pol Ledent

Nature inspires me very much

Nature inspires me so much. The landscape in the countryside where I live is stunning, forests, rolling hills and more, it is a part of Belgium called the Ardennes and it is a big inspiration for me.

Blue Intuition by Pol Ledent
Blue Intuition by Pol Ledent

My painting style is bold

I took a risk when I switched to painting in the abstract style. But after having painted a few pieces, my instincts told me that the paintings would be successful and that turned out to be true. I start my abstract paintings with colours. I forget about my education and my standards and let myself go free on the canvas. My painting style has become far more bold now than it used to be.

Summer Meadow by Pol Ledent
Summer Meadow by Pol Ledent

A memorable compliment

Claude Monet and Van Gogh are my favourite artists and remain a constant source of inspiration. One of the most memorable compliments I received was when an art aficionado told me that my still life paintings are very alive.

The first artwork I sold

The first artwork I ever sold was of a nineteenth century woman in a garden and I sold it to a customer from USA. What people enjoy about my paintings are the colours. My art doesn’t speak to the intellect but rather speaks to the soul and to the feelings.

Exhibitions & clients

Initially I was a part of many group exhibitions. Then, I had solo exhibitions in Rochehaut (Galerie La Potèle), Dinant (Galerie L’impression), Paris (Rive Gauche Galerie Artimus), Brussels (Galerie G-Loft) and Libramont. My works have been exhibited in Dinant, Bouillon, Brussels, Paris and Moscow. I am also a permanent artist in the Voshan Gallery in Palo Alto (CA). My works are included in numerous private collections across the globe, including USA, France, China, Scotland, Portugal, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan and most recently the Emirates. In the coming months, you can expect a lot of abstract pieces from me.

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