Pastel, a technique somewhere between drawing and painting has always fascinated Marie-Lydie Joffre. As a teenager, she already practiced pastel together with oil-painting and Indian ink drawing.
Though deeply attracted to artistic expression, Marie-Lydie Joffre chose to study modern literature at university instead of applying to the academy of arts.
This choice stems from her belief that art should not be taught. Moreover, she did not like the atmosphere at the academy. Instead of letting an external influence modify her own potential, she preferred instead to discover art by herself, spending long hours observing pictures.
Marie-Lydie Joffre returned to artistic expression later in the mid-seventies after the births of her two children. She began with large format oil-paintings with various subjects and using strong colors.
Once she experienced pastel, she decided to abandon oil painting:"I started to paint with oil but pastel rapidly imposed itself upon me exclusively. It is definitively pastel which corresponds to my sensitivity. As a direct material, it transmits spontaneously the vibrations of emotion."
Themes are initially women wearing helmets, then faces becoming increasingly sober in a rigorous step towards the renunciation of any decorative or anecdotal effect.