Malinda Prudomme’s main body of work focuses on female beauty, but when I came across her soft travel drawings I couldn’t wait to share them with you guys. In a series entitled ‘Travel Highlights’, Malinda has documented some eye-catching scenes from European towns and cities. Enjoy!
1) Your travel sketches have a clean, unique style. How did this develop?
I’m so glad to hear that you think so! I pride myself on being a very precise clean artist that doesn’t cut corners to save time. When I was completing my two year Visual Arts minor in one year (plus completing two additional teaching qualifications) I didn’t have the time to make sure all of my lines were crisp and clear. My work still showed attention to detail but the crispness wasn’t there. When I began making art for my career I couldn’t wait to slow down and take the time to ensure every piece was “perfect” in my eyes. I attribute it to my good eyes and steady hand, as well as my stubborn nature. It’s my hope that this is one of the aspects that make my work special.
2) Let’s talk about process. What steps do you take when creating each piece?
When creating travel inspired artwork I generally refer back to my own photography taken during my trips. While travelling I take a TON of photos so that when I’m back in the studio I have a variety to choose from for references. When I’m selecting subjects from a collection of different locations or scenes I tend to choose the ones that struck me most while I was on location. It could be the excitement of seeing the famous landmark; or an experience with a local, fellow traveller, my partner; or an emotional response I might have had.
The technical process for this particular series began by choosing from my images and sketching them on paper at the appropriate scale. If I struggled with free hand I took measurements to ensure the angles were correct. Then once I was pleased with the sketches I transferred them to small 7” x 9” canvases. The next step was applying thin washes of watercolour to bring the scenes to life. Lastly, in order to make the pieces bolder and crisper I used black and white charcoal throughout the scenes.
3) Aside from travel, what inspires your work?
Actually the focus of my work is portraying natural female beauty in all forms. It’s my hope that by portraying a variety of women my audience will begin to see that all women; regardless of age, size, personal style, or ethnic background; are beautiful in their own unique way. This theme generally takes the form of realistic acrylic and oil paint portraits.
4) What or where has been your favourite thing or place to draw and why?
It’s hard to choose just one specific site but I would say Italy and Greece have been my favourite countries to capture. I absolutely love quaint old towns and ancient runes; something we are greatly lacking in Canada. I’ve been fascinated with ancient history since I was a small child and actually have an honours degree in History.
5) If you could travel anywhere in the world to sketch it, where would it be and why?
It has been a life-long dream of mine to travel to Cambodia to see their breathtaking ancient sites. I know I would have a profound emotional reaction to seeing the Angkor Archaeological Park’s ruins. Capturing the remains of Angkor covered in moss, showing its gorgeous history, with paint; that would be incredible!
6) What do you hope these sketches say about the places they depict (if anything)?
I hope this series says, “The world is full of beautiful breathtaking places and things! See them, experience them, immerse yourself in them, and let them change you!”
7) You have clearly travelled a fair bit. Where has been your favourite place to visit and do you have any tips for readers who might be thinking of going there?
Oh goodness … favourite? That’s a tough one. I suppose I’ll choose the Cinque Terre towns. If you’re not familiar, it’s a beautiful collection of five small quaint Italian towns that follow along a beautiful Italian coast. Smiling people, delicious food, comfortable accommodations at reasonable prices; what more can one ask for? Here are a few tips that worked for me:
- Travel early-mid September. The weather is still warm but not overwhelmingly so. The children are back to school and the summer tourists are back to work. You’ll meet like-minded travellers but won’t find the sites are packed.
- Plan to stay a few nights and really enjoy the night life of the towns you stay in. I especially enjoyed my stay in Corniglia. When the sun went down a couple of restaurants opened up in the tiny little main square and traditional music was played live; all outside the window of my beautiful hotel. A supper of swordfish steak and homemade Italian pasta was devoured with delight. What a magical evening that was.
- If you stay in Corniglia remember you can either wait in line for a bus or carry your luggage up the 382 steps to get to the town!
- Save Monterosso Al Mare for last as it’s the most bustling of the towns and also the most expensive. If you don’t have to stay here to catch an early train, stay in another town.
You can see more of Malinda’s work on her site.