Techniques and styles on my art making
Artilleria de seduccion 60 x 70 cm Premio Artes Visuales Leonardo da Vinci 2015
I was born in Venezuela, currently live in Spain. I consider myself a multifaceted artist. I have different ways of expression and had developed a variety of styles and themes through my personal skills and techniques, conforming series of rewarding results. I am aware of the influences I have from seeing so many images of great masters of universal art as well as local artists too. This was done by visiting museums (local and international) as well as reading art books and watching a great number of art images displayed in advertising ads in magazines, posters, street boards, prints, etc. I have always felt attracted to the way those artists expressed themselves with drawing and color. And I understand the beauty of a piece of art made out with only lines, as well as I enjoy color. I recognize, with humble modesty, influences from such different approaches to art as the Flemish artists of the XIV century and also Paul Cezanne, Marc Shagal, Jackson Pollock as well as some American artists from Pop Art.
It is a Visual Art which consists in a series of lines, curves or spots made out with a tool like a pencil, a marker, a pen, a brush, even a thick painter’s brush if you are doing a drawing on a big wall, also you can use one or more fingers to draw. Drawing can be made on paper, canvas, cardboard, ice, a moist piece of glass, sand, metallic screen, to name only a few supports.
Drawing is basic and if you would the less complicated technique to do. You can draw on sand or on a wall so imagine what you can do with different types of surfaces and different types of pencils, markers, brushes, etc.
I have always had a talent for drawing, since I was a kid. I liked to do all sort of school projects, including embroidering. I got several diplomas through the years for those projects and have been keeping drawing ever since. I have always liked to do self-portraits because of what those teach me. It is an excellent drawing exercise and I do not do it for vanity as for having that model in the mirror available at any time.
It is an ancient painting technique consisting of pigments suspended in a water-based solution. This medium is applied also using water to thin it as desired. The more water used, the paler the color. There is no use of white, the zones that the artist wishes to be white have to be left without painting on it. This paint is applied on a special kind of paper, coated with Arabic glue and should be acid free. Watercolor is very poetic and its value lays mainly on the stains that result from the action of brush strokes.
I started doing this millennial and wonderful technique, mostly landscapes at the beginning. Nevertheless, also did portraits, still life and abstracts. In the 90’s I decided to approach the theme of still life from my own perspective: I was interested in expressing my Latin American origins, so I made the commitment to myself of painting only fruits from that region, as well as sea shells in some cases. But I wanted to honor the European masters of still life, so I arranged my compositions with tropical fruits and “European” gobelins surrounding those fruits and/or shells. I left some portions unfinished, without paint, so that one notices the drawing beneath the watercolor. And also I intended to approach the theme in a different fashion than the masters who finished their works. I think I made a break through by doing this. Also I like to do some art works with silver pieces from Mexico or Peru as main subject on some of my watercolors and I like to fill the inside of them with Aloe plants, instead of roses or tulips, irises and so.
The term for this visual art comes from the word used in French for glue and it is made by cutting up paper, gluing some pieces together and make a whole, bringing a new image as a result. Even though this technique has existed for more than 200 years, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso made a huge revival of it in the beginning of the 20th century, making it one of the main techniques of Modern Art.
I approach this technique in a particular way. Having been exposed to women’s magazines all my life, I have developed a style of my own by combining antique frames that I recycle, with cut outs from those magazines. I tell the most fascinating stories or thoughts in them. I perform a “surgery” on the cut outs, meaning that I take one part of a whole object and combine it with other parts as well. I set them aside. Then I take those antique frames and get rid of the golden color to add on a wooden support on the back of the frame and paint it all in white. Then I use the whole thing as a canvas. The shape of the frame always has carved lines, waves, or flowers so this helps my art because even if I do not occupy the entire surface of the frame, it already has some expression by itself. Sometimes I paint on those designs on the frame. I have a file of magazine cut outs that I review prior to start my art work. I select the ones I feel will compose the art piece and start gluing them on, letting them dry for some time. After that I get my acrylics and start mixing colors to obtain the exact hue on the paper cut outs and apply the paint on each part of each piece of paper. Let them dry again and finish with a coating crystal clear on the board and a coating of non-shine polyurethane on the frame.
This system I use for doing collage have several pathways, some of them are based on the theme of still-life and some other on the feminine world. In both themes the viewer experiences some sense of humor from the artist. Sometimes I combine both themes.
I also use another system for doing collage as well. Firs, I decide if the art piece is going to be one, or if it is going to be a diptych, a tryptic and so on. Then I choose the shape of the project, which is almost always rectangular and I decide the color or blend of colors which are going to be in their surfaces. Now I drip some acrylic paint on top, afterwards I add irregular shape pieces of colored tissue paper, placing them very carefully on the support (wood or canvas or metallic screen). Let them dry and let drip some more acrylic painting on top. Let it dry again. Then I add some paper cut outs. Some of them being fragments of text in magazines. I consider text a very important way of communication to be used in art. Text is everywhere so it is part of my subjects. This might be from having had experience as a Graphic Designer, when it was made by gluing the text, and painting illustrations with brush or airbrush and paint. Sometimes these collages are performed on metal screen and have drippings of acrylic paint and glued colored tissue paper as well. Another element that I like to include in my art works are CD’s. The reason for this is that CD’s have the prism on them so I cover the hole in the center and use them for the variety and movement of the colors in them.
This form of visual art began in the 50’s. It takes in account a broader sense of the work of art. Installations are three dimensional and do not necessarily stand on a pedestal. They are usually perceived as “coming from a wall”, springing from the floor or hanging from the ceiling. They could also be stuck to the ceiling. For the making of this form of art a diversity of materials are used, and depending on their characteristics the installation may be displayed in or outside. Being a recycling lover artist, whenever I see an interesting piece: a wooden window, some door architrave, or any other object that can be transformed in a piece of art, I lose no time and start thinking, as I bring the object to my studio, what will I do with it. If it is a window I find, for instance, first I paint the window with acrylic paint, then fill in its holes with canvases, then I glue some paper cut outs on them and add drippings of acrylics, drawings with crayons, etc. Or I might ensemble a wooden structure, then paint it with acrylics and add empty blisters of pills previously filled up with different kinds of paper fragments. These blisters are plastic but once displayed in such fashion and having hung the installation on a wall, look metallic, like stainless steel. And I like this effect very much.