Painting Method: Mouth painter
On 7th February 1955, Stéphanette Lièvre was born in Niort in the district of Deux Sèvres. From birth, she had a severe disability which deprived her of the use of her arms and legs. Stéphanette spent one and a half years at the rehabilitation centre and then, at the age of 7-8, she attended a normal primary school, which was a remarkable achievement at that time. She spent her childhood with her family, who helped her greatly in undergoing various treatments and at the rehabilitation centre. Here, with the help of a special helmet, she also learned typewriting, in order to be able to continue her schooling up to secondary level II. “When I was small I didn’t use my mouth a lot, because they were trying to develop my hands, but it was very strenuous,” she says. It was not until Stéphanette met people who used their mouths to be independent, that she tried it herself. This was how she got the idea of painting by mouth, as her head is the part of her body over which she has the most control. For Stéphanette, painting is a mysterious and fascinating art, as it reveals a part of our life. The creation of the colours gives a painting a reality filled with light. “Above all, the mixing of the colours remains a fascinating secret. The search for one or several colours awakens light, life and a certain gaiety inside me.” She prefers oil painting, as this technique offers an endless variety of colours which can be achieved through mixing the basic colour tones. She loves playing with colours and working on the canvas with brushstrokes which compose a still life, a bouquet of flowers or a landscape, as she allows her imagination free rein. “For me, painting means bringing a landscape, a flower or an object back to life again in a profusion of colours.” From time to time, her works are displayed at exhibitions held by AMFPA. She feels very connected to the Association. In addition, Stéphanette and her husband Joël are very active in the “lieu de vie” (living-space) project, whose aim is to include people with difficulties in a world which is sometimes merciless to them. In these activities, her passion for computer technology proves very useful and helps her to cope with everyday life. Stéphanette deserves our full admiration for the way in which she overcomes her disability and for her willingness to help others.