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Photo by Alexa Mazzarello.

Local artist Ariane Beauchamp explores natural world with digital illustration

By Christine Seguin on November 29, 2015

Local artist Ariane Beauchamp’s medium of choice has typically been ink and watercolour.  The themes of her work, being nature, death and decay lend themselves perfectly to the unpredictable nature of the materials she uses.  “The ink tells me what is going to become of the piece. It will move, fall and dry in a way you won’t expect or plan for. Like in nature, I let it tell me what it’s going to be.”

Illustration from Ariane Beauchamp's Instagram

Illustration from Ariane Beauchamp’s Instagram

The imagery used in her work is heavily influenced by her upbringing in Northern Ontario, on the shores of Lake Nipissing as well as a recent purchase of untapped land in Pakenham, Ontario.  ‘The purchase of a completely virgin plot of land has been more than inspirational, it’s been a revelation.  My partner and I are currently building a small cabin there.  Staying in the wild, being self-sufficient and blocking out the modern world has been very inspiring.”

Recently, Beauchamp has begun exploring a less tactile medium, digital illustration; a jump that she felt was quite unexpected. “This interest really took me off guard in a way I would have never predicted.  I’ve always gravitated toward a more tactile and analogue practice, I never really like having technology as barrier between me and my work.”  Ariane’s day job allows her to have access to to Adobe Suite, which has led her to explore the program after hours.  She found that she was able to use the program in a way that mirrored the medium she was used to. “In a matter of seconds I can basically emulate the effects of ink with the click of a mouse. This raises serious questions for me and does impact my practice. Ink is very volatile and difficult to manipulate, lots of love and attention is needed when it’s being applied to paper.” Ariane goes on to hail the biggest advantage of this new tool. “Simply put, it’s the undo button; there are none of those in real life.”

Illustration from Ariane Beauchamp's Instagram

Illustration from Ariane Beauchamp’s Instagram

Ariane has also embraced another modern tool which she resisted for a time: social media. “I’ve only recently joined Instagram.  It’s a challenge keeping up with posts but it’s an effective way to touch a wide reach of people, as well as other artists who are otherwise unreachable during periods in between shows. It also gives me a great idea on what pieces appeal to people the most, like having an insta-review.  It provides a great sense of community between artists and opens up more possibilities for collaboration and mutual support.”

No matter what road Ariane takes in her art, she knows she will be embraced by Ottawa’s art scene. “It is a small scene here but it is very accessible. There are key players here which you come to recognized once you’ve immersed yourself in what the city and its talent has to offer.  The scene here is very much a multifaceted one, each of its branches appealing to a diverse group of followers.  There is definitely not a lack of very talented and collaborative people here.”

Ariane’s ink and watercolour work will be showing at Cyclelogik’s annual Christmas art show on Friday, December 4th. The show is organized and curated by Andrea Stokes and will feature the work of several Ottawa artists.

You can see more of Ariane’s work at her website or her Instagram.

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