Artist Beatrice Lebreton creates symbolically-inspired artwork that tells a story. Visit her website to see more of her work.
Born and raised in France, I have been a creative person as far back as I can remember; drawing, coloring, playing with fabric remnants, doing needlework and knitting by my grandmother’s side. I was the dreamer of the family, seeing stories unfold in a cloudy sky, or in the wallpaper, or while hiding in a makeshift tent to read over and over books of tales from around the world.
Even as a child, I wanted to go to a school where all I had to study was visual art, music, poetry and dancing. It did not happen at that time, but after high school I was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where I obtained a Master of Fine Arts with a major in drawing.
Later on, when working on a Master in Art History, I took a class on African art. Being exposed to African culture helped me to develop my artist’s creativity and to express a side of myself that had been previously hidden.
Inspired by the beauty, grace and dignity of African women, I started to create a series of not exactly “portraits” but more “representations” of these women, using watercolor first and then switching to acrylic.
This was the beginning of many more series dealing with the female image – their position, contributions, struggles and identity.
Placing the figure in the foreground of colorful designs and symbolic patterns (influenced by Klimt, Mucha, and the Art Nouveau period) allows me to lift the women from an everyday life setting and to relocate them in the realm of immortality.
My work has progressively developed into the narrative and creating stories. I use it as a means of communication, focusing on symbolism and metaphors.
Experimentation is a huge component of my work. As a mixed media artist, I combine both abstract and realistic elements which visually create richer and more interesting tensions. I add textured, stitched and beaded surfaces to the painted areas.
These patterns, fabrics and beads become a focal motif, add a tactile touch and fuse into, I hope, a language of their own, stretched between the limits of the imaginary and the history.
Nothing is more exciting than preparing for a new work. First thorough research, then sketching and finally arranging the paints (usually fluid acrylics), beads, pieces of fabric and threads according to the color scheme. Music in the background, a cup of tea on the side …. the adventure starts and the rest is just a story that I hope will inspire a sense of wonder and connection in my viewers.