'No matter how odd, disturbing or horrific Renée French’s subjects become, there is always a beauty to their ethereal, gossamer draughtsmanship. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, French is a fastidious obsessive, whose pencil touches the paper’s surface tentatively, almost tenderly, and coaxes velvety textures inside her tiny panels, often crafted same-size as their printed versions or smaller. French admits that drawing with this much concentration comes at a price. “It does give me headaches, but I can’t quit. I find that if I don’t draw for a few days, I can’t concentrate and need to do it again.”
Among French’s favourite painters is Georges Seurat and while French herself may work predominantly in black and white, her fixation on coalescing each individual tiny mark she makes into shimmering form is every bit as intensive and exacting as Seurat’s precise pointillism. French’s preoccupations, however, are altogether stranger and frequently unsettling, deriving from her early absorption of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, whose Tenniel’s drawings burned into her brain, and of Hieronymus Bosch. “When I was little, I found a picture of his Garden of Earthly Delights in one of my parent’s reference books. I ended up knowing it by heart.”Majoring in fine art and drawing, French did not enter the American comics scene until her late Twenties after the epiphany of discovering the underground comix of Charles Burns, Julie Doucet, Chester Brown and others.'
excerpt from an article by Paul Gravett
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