From words to watercolors.
“Process Comics” is a convergence of visual translations of Spanish poetry and personal essay. While translating the collection Ultramar by Elsa Cross, I decided to experiment with ways visual art might contribute to an emotive, sensual, or surreal element lost in translation. Overtime however, I began to worry that my images might obstruct the readers’ ability to feel their way around the poems.
Even once I decided I didn’t want to incorporate my images into my translations, I still continued to paint while translating. The process of painting my own interpretations of Cross’s poems became a large part of my translation process. Through the act of distilling the world of a poem in a single moment, I was better able to recognize what themes should step forward and what should whisper below the surface.
As I worked, I wrote down my reflections on this translation process. I then decided to abstract and embed fragments of these reflections into the images. The shifting context allows words I initially wrote as prose to function as poetry, completing the project’s creative circuit from poetry to visual art to prose and back again.