Fine art asks the questions; illustration answers them. As a painter I get to do both, creating compelling, poignant work that stirs the imagination of children and adults, alike. Employing a more organic, intuitive approach to image making has allowed me to rediscover the freedom of creation I had as a child. This approach is evident in both my commercial and personal work. I am fascinated by the dichotomy of concrete and abstract, constantly seeking a more satisfying balance between clearly articulated imagery and ambiguous abstractions. For my senior final project I chose to explore this synergy of literal and figural in relation to poetry and illustration. In poetry, meaning, sound and rhythm are used to convey character, place, mood and intention. As illustrators, we strive to do the same through visuals. Composition, value, colour and form serve to illuminate characters, settings and events. I chose to investigate this relationship by illustrating work by France’s foremost poet, Arthur Rimbaud. My semester spent studying abroad at Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in France was a catalyst for my visual quest to portray the dramatic and imaginative vision that Arthur Rimbaud created with words. My knowledge of French went from an outsider studying the language academically, to a French citizen able to write, read and speak with the French people. Understanding slang, metaphors, and syntax, I began to not just translate but integrate the language. This is the source of inspiration for the five large scale paintings in Perdue en Traduction/Lost In Translation.
Each piece in this series explores either an excerpt from or the entirety of one of Arthur Rimbaud’s poetirepresentational imagery, text and metaphor to visually communicate that, which is lost when translated into English.