PhotoTalks: OJAM [Painter]

Dreamy landscapes, subtle figures and colour contrast are three things that come to mind when I think about the French painter OJAM OJAM. She has been living in Copenhagen more than ten years. She's always busy - working for a Scandinavian company, travelling, and taking care of her children, yet she's full of elan and creative ideas. It's amazing, how much energy you can feel from her pictures.

When did you start painting, Martine?

I have always liked carpentry and wood carving and I started when I was really young in a creative and not always constructive manner!
In Sweden in the early 2000, I went to 'Upplands Väsby Möbelsnickarskolan' (woodworking school of Upplands Vasby, Sweden) and enjoyed woodworking as much as designing the pieces. A lot of my home furniture results from this activity. After moving to Denmark in 2003, I continued to design some pieces and explored the design aspect further, which I then developed into drawing and painting activities; it was also easier than woodworking activity and equipment when living in an apartment in town.
I very much enjoyed this new interest, which I keep exploring.

What are you currently working on?

I always enjoyed painting in an abstract realism with a restricted colour palette. Today I am investigating this further with a grey-black colour palette, where I am trying to extract real atmosphere, using the essence of the light effect.
Simultaneously I am also working on pencil drawings based on classic sculptures in the Glyptotek Museum in Copenhagen. With this I am hoping to better integrate people into my city atmosphere paintings. Today I just finished an exhibition in Helligåndshuset, Copenhagen from which I got very interesting feedback, and I am currently experimenting new paintings and technics before planning for a next exhibition event.

What inspires you?

I very much like to paint atmosphere, or life experience ambiance, mostly based on real situations. My kids are also a very rich source of inspiration, either from a common situation we experienced or by enjoying the act of painting together, their feedback and participation is always welcome and contributes a lot to my painting. We enjoy traveling together, and these common cultural, architectural, and sporting experiences form an endless base for creativity.
I was fortunate enough over the last ten years to meet excellent painters and teachers such as Karin Court-Payen, Vladimir Voronin, Laurent Auer, and Håkan Nystrom. They have helped broaden my technique and further developed my enthusiasm for painting and drawing.

Thank you for the interview.