The first time I met Nathalie, I totally noticed her Joie de Vivre and I knew that we could be friends. But let me tell you first the reason why I do love this talented woman. Nathalie is a French artist who resides in Melbourne specialised in mandalas, and travels the world doing what she loves most - Art. So proud of her, with recently her expansion in the art world, it was important and obvious for me to share with you my dear amie (friend).


Nathalie, we often spoke about your background and I remember asking you this question: do you consider yourself more French or Australian?

(She already starts to say to me that she needs to grab a coffee and a cigarette to talk about that… I have already an idea about her answer; right now she’s definitely French).

I have very strong French values. I speak with passion, I breathe romance, I love food, and I have a flair for style. I think you call this “French Chic”?

The Australian side of me is the driven woman who stops at nothing. I believe that my perseverance is very Australian, I live my life with the motto “it always seems impossible until it’s done” by Nelson Mandela.


Before speaking about your art, could you first explain to the readers what is a mandala?

Translated from Sanskrit a mandala means circle and completion. You will see geometry, symmetry, and repeated patterns.


Why did you choose to start Mandalas?

(She asked me if she has to say the truth: another French side: Yes Nathalie please lol. After 5 minutes of laughing, it’s time to get serious.)

After the death of my husband, with no more tears, no more words, I sought a different refuge for my pain. I decided to design a sacred garden for the love I lost and commissioned an artist to do a sculpture of my daughter. When I was with the artist, I noticed she had displayed a beautiful postcard with a mandala on it. I asked her more about it and she said, “oh, my friend teaches workshops and you should go.”

I attended this art class and I’ve never looked back since. I gave up my executive job and my business suits for paintbrushes and an art studio.

Six months later, I was in the South of France for one year, launched my art and started my first official exhibition. I received a medal for my artistic contribution to the town of Beausoleil and had my own gallery in exclusive village of Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat.


In one word, how could you define your Mandalas?

Opulence. Because my art is all about exuberance and luxury. It’s unique.

(I love this Nathalie, we go back to the French side)


Where do you find your inspiration? 

In my heart. Each painting tells a unique story and captures a moment in one’s life through colours shapes and symbols.

For example, when I’m commissioned to paint someone’s love story, I interview my clients and ask about their unique love story, I research symbols in different books to do with love, I listen to romantic music the entire time I paint, and I feel romance in every part of my body (oh la la the French comes out). I presented Prince Albert II of Monaco with a painting for his wedding day. It was a true honour to paint the love story of such beautiful royalty.


Mandala made for the Prince of Monaco
Mandala made for the Prince of Monaco


Do you find also inspiration from your French culture?

Yes, definitely.

I let my passion, my love, my freedom, my French history, the smell of my region (the lavender), and the beauty of the country take over in my every paintbrush stroke.

That is very important to me. If I sway from this, for some reason, I know that immediately the frustration takes over.

For example, I was recently asked to present a painting to Hollywood royalty Susan Sarandon. During the entire painting, I listened to the soundtrack of “Thelma and Louise” (here we go, now she’s singing. We are not going to finish on time this interview, plus the red wine now does not help).


Mandala made for Susan Sarandon - Photo Source: Tracey Akhee
Mandala made for Susan Sarandon - 
Photo Source: Tracey Akhee

Do you miss France?

Yes, very much. I miss my family who lives in Nice (obviously we cannot forget the tragedy on the 14th of July 2016), I miss the food, I miss the fashion, I miss the connections, and I miss walking in the streets. There is something special in France that we can’t really explain… There is something in the air. Can you smell that? Mmmmh it smells like romance. Oh and I forgot, last but not least, I miss the French men (big smile on her face).


Interesting Nathalie, can you develop please for our women readers? French men are they really different, as good as we say?

Oh la la. Once you’re with a French man, you can’t have anything else. It’s like having a thousand thread sheets; you can’t go back to five hundred. There is something about French men they know the worth of a woman (it’s getting hot in here, next subject).


What is the French Chic for you?

The French Chic for me is individuality. It’s simplicity. It’s not complicated, it’s a liberté to express yourself with style and uniqueness. For me, it’s something that you don’t see everyday. It’s evident when a French woman walks down the streets; her sensuality, her smell, her scarf, and her radiance you can’t ignore.


Interesting line because I’m very interested about the femininity and I’m actually working on future workshops about this so my question is what is femininity for you?

Ok, how much time do you have?

Femininity is to be bien dans sa peau (feeling good about oneself), loving our curves and everything that comes with it, be tender and vulnerable (but still stay powerful).

As a woman, you want to first love yourself (FLY), wear what makes you feel sexy, sensual, and succulent.


Could you define the je ne sais quoi?

No (giggles). We can’t describe it, you must experience it.


And what is the je ne sais quoi in your work? 

I think it’s maybe the 100 year-old techniques I use, taken from the Renaissance period and the decadent real liquefied gold that I use in my paintings.


When Nathalie told me she used gold in her paintings, I immediately said “it’s so you”, the perfect reflection of her golden heART. I do believe the talent of an artist is measured also by the size of his/her heart. An artist definitely needs to be connected with his/her emotions, needs to feel, to be emotional and to not be afraid by being vulnerable to perfectly transcript it in his/her work. It is the case of Nathalie. Every minute I spent with her, it’s a time when I can feel her generous soul. And it’s what I like about a real and genuine exchange between two human beings. Merci Nathalie for making this world more beautiful, the circle of life that can be more colourful.


Visit her website: click here

#artheals #mandalamovement




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Who is Caroline?


This is the adventure of a Frenchwoman who has decided to expand her life after 10 years in the French event management industry. After a lot of travels, I decided to settle in Melbourne, the fashion city of excellence in Australia.


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