Human tastes may change and develop with time but “tastes” are always with us. Although I was always more oriented towards realism and figurative work, over the years I realized that I was much more comfortable with design and illustration. My artistic interest in the vibrancy and expressive nature of brightly colored glass led me to explore the beauty in mundane possessions such as kitchenware. Over the last two years, making observationsaround my parents’ kitchen enabled me to find the key concept of a few of my pieces.

Guilty pleasures are essential to making our life more entertaining. Taste establishes our memory as it reminds us of a certain time and place. Food anddrinks are part of our every day life and we often forget about how important those things are throughout our day. As I was working on a few paintings I wanted to convey and remind the public about the hidden beauty of banality. I began to observe different foods that we consume everyday and those that wemight indulge in on a warm and cozy Sunday. I was initially inspired bymy local “boulangerie”, the French farmer’s market and the breakfastthat my friends and I would indulge in on weekends. I was then particularly drawn into the different drinks that we might consume when at a bar, dinner or a warm summer night. 

 

(my own work)

A number of artists have inspired me in the visual arts domain. Artists such as Vic Vicini and Kate Brinkworth shaped my visualization of basic objects and their beauty. Vic Vicini in particular, has a design approach to her artworks, which enabled me to practice my own techniques. Another artist that greatly impacted me was Ellen Johnson. Her attention to details blew me away and showed me the importance of composition and how this can illustrate the beauty in the mundane such as negative space between objects and reflections of color. 

 

(works by Kate Brinkworth, Vic Vicini & Mary Ellen Johnson)

 

Throughout my pieces, while still paying much attention to details, I created strong contrasts between the relationship of the objects in the composition and a put strong emphasis on the outlines of each object in order to visualize the different aspects of the piece.

For the paintings that include liquids, I used watercolors. I believe that its consistency created fluidity and enabled the different colors to blend in seamlessly. I focused on using harmonious colors which created a uniformity on the paper. On the other hand, watercoloralso allowed me to create strong contrasts between the objects on one painting. In those pieces, I decided to work with reflections and the movement of water, hence the fluidity of the details in each painting. 

 


(my own work)

For paintings that include foods of similar texture, I decided to use oil paint. With this paint, I was able to put strong emphasis ondetails and make each area of the piece stand out. The colors were able to blend within one range but also create beautiful contrastsbetween each piece of food. The oil paint creates a shiny effect on the canvas that emphasizes that sense of indulgence of comfort food. 

 


(my own work)

I also greatly enjoy using pen and pencils to focus on details. This allows me to develop the shading and tonal variations into the piece. The texture is therefore more prominent through the use of pen that outlines the small details in the work. Here I was mainly focusing on texture and shading of the mundane object. Linear mark making was key to this particular drawing as it enabled me to define the different features and make the shading clearer. I first drew everything with an HB pencil, including the shading. I then started to refine the marking inside the mushroom with a very thin pen while leaving some of the lines. I also worked more into the black marker shading with a 6B pencil to make it darker. By doing so, there is a clear definition of contrast between the dark and light present in the drawing. I made sure to press the pen lightly or strongly in the different parts of the various mushrooms to create a three dimensional aspect to it and not let the pencils blend in together. This technique was also practical when it came to the texture and tonality of the drawing. It enabled it to be more clear as it creates the “folding” of the mushrooms, this feature is also seen due to the shading. When reviewing the overall composition, although I could have experimented with different vibrant colors that resembles pop-art, I realized that the shading and definition of the work is very strong.

 

(my own work)

My intention with the pieces was for the viewer to observe the details and realize the beauty that surrounds the every day object. Every aspect of th epainting should take them back to their favorite indulgences and to a specific memory. We tend to characterize guilty pleasures as « bad habits », and that is the criticism that I hope viewers decide to erase from their minds. My pieces are meant to show the beauty of everyday life and human sensations. The creations should encourage the audience to be more appreciative of the surroundings and perhaps pay more attention to the little pleasures in life. 

 

The hidden beauty of banality