1967 to 2002

Before enrolling in les Beaux-Arts, Lélia was already sure of two things: she wanted to spend all her life painting and drawing and she wanted to paint in a figurative style. Lélia wanted to paint what she was looking at, what she could see and identify with: nature, portraits, people and villages.

The impressionist technique was what Lélia had learned from infancy, as she wanted her viewers to recognise places and people in her paintings. Les Beaux-Arts failed to provide her with the formation she needed or expected, in order to paint satisfactorily in the style she had in mind. Although her grandfather and her father had spent as much time as they could in teaching her, it was never enough. She always wanted to learn more, more about watercolour, gouache, pastel, oil and etching, but it seemed she had so much to learn, she might never reach the end.

For Lélia, the end meant being able to paint whatever she wanted without having to think, without having to sweat over it or finding it difficult. She wanted every subject she turned her hand to, everything she was looking at, to develop in front of her eyes “comme par enchantement,” as if by magic. That was her goal, her idea of satisfaction. It eventually came about: she attained her end. Today Lélia can draw and paint anything she wants with ease.

For many years, she did not shift from her objective, failing to realise that she had at the same time imprisoned herself in a world of art economics and art investment. Galleries and agents were queuing for and fighting over her work.

At that time she thought it was glorious. Only later on did she realise that it was not her they were supporting, not her work, simply their own potential portfolio. She had become merely a commodity, locked within an ever more demanding, ever more constricting commercial spiral.

Eventually, however, it became boring, stultifying, unbearably restrictive, a straitjacket - her artistic expression had shifted from creation to constraint. She needed more artistic freedom, further artistic challenges.There followed a lengthy barren period during which Lélia found herself questioning whether she would ever paint again.

Almost by chance, although perhaps by design, circumstances and events - first a spontaneous sketch to direct a student, then a response to a request from her son – combined to encourage Lélia to pick up her brush once more.Thus, the Circle series was born. and from that day Lélia began painting for herself.

From 1967 until 2002 she had shut herself inside a self-constructed prison of having to paint daily, in order to fulfil her ambition of painting all subjects without mistakes, without difficulty, meeting her own exacting standards, knowing all the time that she was hypercritical of her own work.
Have things changed today? For her work, definitely: she now paints what she wants, how she wants, without any interference, meddling or comments from galleries and dealers, for those dealers have made commodities of other artists.