Today I am interviewing the ninth Enchanted Visions Artist. It is my pleasure to introduce
|One of Isabelle Dumont's pet rats.|
Who is, "Isabelle Dumont"? Tell us a little about yourself.
This lovely year, I am turning 30, though I feel horribly old by now. I´m a very awkward person, really, and I thrive better online than offline. When I was a little child I would walk around in the forest all day, or go up and down the mountain where I lived. The thing about nature, to me, has always been the quiet comfort it gave me. Wherever I go, I have a tendency to seek out the local forest and then try to get lost in it. I like trees and plants and I love animals. In a way, I am sure that I always was a bit of a fairy child, and I am exceedingly stubborn and resistant to be persuaded of anything.
There are probably many answers to the question of why I´m like this, but what is important to me is that my art speaks for me. I am emotional and often conflicted, but my art always steps up to communicate for me. As long as I can remember, alongside my art, I have been making up and writing little stories about characters who live quite odd lives in quite odd worlds. There´s magic and there´s tragedy, but in the end, what is most important is that little bit of morale, the lesson they are trying to teach me. Obviously, I spend a lot of time alone in my own head, where I am fully entertained. This does make me seem very strange sometimes, but I don´t mind.
How did you hear about Enchanted Visions and why did you want to become a member artist?
I actually just randomly stumbled across Enchanted Visions last year, through friends who were already members, and then I made a few pieces and inquired one of my friends on how to join, and it happened. I was pleasantly surprised, but also very happy because I had been looking for something like that, where there is a theme open to interpretation, and enough time to finish a piece of art.
Each month, Enchanted Visions artists are challenged with creating a piece of art for that month's theme. Please share some of the art you have created for Enchanted Visions with us. For each piece of art, please describe how it interprets that month's theme, any story behind the art, and the theme's meaning to you.
|The Last Candle by Enchanted Visions Artist Isabelle Dumont|
The Last Candle was very personal to me, because it enabled me to show and share an image that I always carry around with me, that has become something like a vivid memory. I´m not sure where it originally came from or why, but for years now, when I feel sad or upset or simply lost, to mind comes an image of standing alone in utter darkness and then there is this light coming from within me, almost like a little flame. And in that image, the light always burns steadily and shines brighter than anything I´ve ever seen, and it gives me absolute comfort. I didn´t have to think about it at all, as I read the title that image was there again. Of course, once I started drawing, I went into yet another direction of absolute comfort for me, which is studio ghibli, and in this case the movie Howl´s Moving Castle. It wasn´t an intentional direction, but I often end up following my heart down familiar paths, merging ideas that make sense to me. I love that movie because of the vulnerability and chaos portrayed through the characters, their obvious, direct losses and gains, and how more than once, everything seems to center on, and almost go up in flames. Because of that, I think, the character I drew seems a lot more like Howl than myself.
|Serenity by Enchanted Visions Artist Isabelle Dumont|
Awakening (Serenity) happened around the time that I had just found an ancient passport photo of my mother, dating back to the late 60s, and then another one from the early 70s. There seems to be a female type in our family, I resemble both my mother and my aunt very strongly, and after 40 years of absence, my mother met with her cousin again, who in surprise exclaimed that she was then the spitting image of their grandmother. Due to the lack of photographic evidence, we don´t know if there were any women before that who looked just like us, but it´s obvious that this type has been passed on through 3 generations already.
When I found the old photos of my mother, there was a strong sense of familiarity and closeness, but also a raised interest in our differences. My mother has always had a kind of magic about her, something I can only describe as witchy darkness. Her eyes are very sharp and intense, like emeralds, and her hair extremely wild (which mine is becoming too as of lately). There is this feeling of otherworldliness about her, something alien, and often both dark and bright. In many ways, I felt it very fitting of the theme of awakening, in the way of a third eye, or an ascension to another level of consciousness. I often work with monotonous colours, trying to emphasize shadows and lines to bring forth a mood, and for this piece I intuitively chose red. Red is powerful and warm and full of life.
|Heart of Steel by Enchanted Visions Artist Isabelle Dumont|
Silence (Heart of Steel) is, if I have to use as few words as possible; extremely vulnerable, terrifying and cruel. Just as I would draw or paint with colours to display something vibrant and lively, or pick a monotone colour to show something specific, this piece is limited to a cool blue. If there is such a thing as a snapshot image of a specific moment or period in our life, this is it to me. I was a young teenager when I somehow seemed to go through a time where every portrait I drew or painted somehow did not have a mouth.
In many ways, it took me years to realize that I had been effectively silenced back then, and maybe not despite of that but just because of it, my art was trying to tell me and the world exactly what was going on. Silence is such a powerful state of mind, it is devastating to be the silenced one, unable to resist or protest for so many reasons. Fortunately for me, this eventually changed. I escaped the silence, and my portraits found their voices again, but not without the scars. And that is exactly what this portrait wants to say, not just hint at a possible memory, but stand witness to the progress, but also the scars that it caused.
EV has a monthly auction of the work created. Do you sell your work there?
Yes I do. Ever since I joined EV I try to get something done for the monthly theme and then put that up for sale.
Are there challenges knowing you are one of many artists creating art for the same EV theme? Does this knowledge hinder you or give you momentum when creating for the monthly theme?
Absolutely not. I feel very enriched by the thought of being a part of a larger group all working with the same themes. And I am always very fascinated by the similarities and differences of the artists´ interpretation of themes. For me, it´s mostly the social interaction aspect that drives me, several of the other artists are my friends outside of EV too, and it´s uplifting to see how kind we are to each other when interacting, to me, that means there is no competition, everyone is working together.
How did your personal art style evolve, that thing that makes people say, oh "insert your name here" painted this? Was it identifiable right away? What inspired you on your way to your own personal style?
It´s definitely always been very identifiable. And it´s always seemed to come very naturally to me. I often look at it like this; I was left alone a lot as a child and teenager, and as early on as I can remember I was more drawn to painting and drawing than other children of my age. So whenever, wherever, however, I´d be busy doodling. I was never much interested in copying or learning how to do certain styles, I thought they were neat, but they weren´t me. So I just kept on going, continuously powered by my own imagination, partly due to my loneliness. A part of that fueled my feeling of closeness to nature, I would be in the forest alone and imagine fairies and dwarves and all sorts of creatures roaming about. The mythology and history of the countries I grew up in influenced me heavily, so I draw on a lot of Norse and Germanic background that isn´t that widely known. I did eventually outgrow my loneliness and somehow ended up in yet another country, but I kept all the stories I´d made over the years, tied in with the complex world of characters and creatures that inhabit my head. And my style has just sort of found it's spot, sat down and told me that it won´t go away anymore.
Describe (and provide a photograph if you like) of your studio/work space. What would you change about it, if anything, for it to become your dream work space?
I am a chaos machine and the same goes for my workplace, which currently consists of a small table in a corner. All the materials I need at the moment are there, but other things are tidied away in a closet. I try to keep my desk clutter free, but I also can´t get anything done creatively if I´m not surrounded by my own work, whether it be finished or half-way. There are always strange, mystical portraits gazing at me, and also tiny, little cute critters waiting to be coloured. On my right, there are pens and pencils and brushes, and right to that there is a stack of papers and etc. My tiny, old laptop is on the left of my desk, and behind that are two unfinished polymer clay figurines. Underneath my desk, on the right, is a small cupboard with three drawers of stuff and an ancient drawing tablet. I last drew digitally sometime 2009. In front of me, on the wall, is an old photo of myself when I was 13-14, which I keep because it represents memories of a life that now seems almost innocent, and it always makes me smile.
"Paint" a picture of yourself for us using 10 colorful words to describe you, the total picture.
Chaotic, strange, scary, strong, warm, awkward, intuitive, empathic, thoughtful, kind
Thank you so much Isabelle for this wonderful look into your creative process, your art and you.
Please visit ENCHANTED VISIONS to see more of Isabelle's art and what she has created for the latest theme.
If you would like to see more of Isabelle's art, you can find her at the following links:
etsy 2: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpaceratandFriends
Labels: artist feature, artist interview, Enchanted Visions, Friday Art Feature, Isabelle Dumont, painting