seeking the silence.

i have been totally absorbed in my seek for satisfactory solutions for my new works. it has not been easy. i am a perfectionist. i don’t feel happy with anything that sounds shallow or meaningless. and i have my ideals about what my art in particular should be. there are points in the artist’s development when you feel like you have to move on, to explore new things, to find new meanings to what you are doing. people love my ornamented, klimtish, colorful stuff. well, i do too. i took years of my life to find out that i was a colorful person inside — in spite of wearing black all the time — and that reflected in my art. however, i have to confess that, during the process of my art making, there’s a point, when the final color glazes have not yet started to be applied, when i strangely sense that “this is it” feeling, but for an urge of pouring color and ornaments everywhere i end up losing the momentum.

like here:

in progress: Lilith

and here:

in progress: Vali

(i don’t know if i am making any sense at all.)

i’ve been trying, among others things, to hold the feeling of “that’s enough, you don’t need to scream so loud to make sense and be beautiful”, the minimalism, the serenity and silence. i think i got that once with “Waterlily”. Eastern philosophies teaches us about the meaning of the emptiness, and that reflects in their art. i think that one of the things that transmits that peacefulness you experience when observing a piece of Chinese or Japanese art, for example, besides the softness of the lines and colors, is the use of space. in most works, at least 30% of the area is an empty space. empty, but absolutely meaningful — that emptiness is exactly what expresses reverence. here in the West, the emptiness bothers us. we just cannot be minimal. we have to fill up every space with stuff. when i paint, the background is the part that most bothers — and intrigues — me. i just can’t leave the background alone and concentrate in the figure. i’ve tried many things, and if i don’t fill up the space with little triangles, swirls and other visual paraphernalia, i don’t feel good about the painting.

the approach i’ve been trying for a while is integration and adaptation. working on the background first, and then adding to it. make the figure to adapt to what the background commands. which is also sort a philosophical approach. to go with the flow, to dance according to the music. do not force, do not fight. just adapt. use the force you consider an enemy as an ally.

background was inspired in the texture and colors of a rock, and built with a sponge to give that grainy effect. love it.
when i was making the Materia series, i left each color of the 4 elements to guide me through the painting and teach me things. i found out how refreshing and invigorating the greens could be; the blue, so spiritual and apparently passive, can have a strength that sometimes is difficult to manage (in my opinion, is the most difficult color to work with). the same sensorial approach is being used during the making of the “O Fortuna” series, and it is probably something that will accompany my creative process for a while. working with the energy of the colors and the suggestions given by the shapes that will form by texturizing the backgrounds brings my process closer to a more “right side of the brain” attitude of making art. less rational, more psychic and visionary.

4 Responses

  1. I understand what you are saying! I am going through the same thing right now. Hard to pick up canvas right now, am having more fun doodling (doodling teaches me a lot) and thinking and dreaming. Your work mezmerizes me at any stage! I would really love to see your process in action. Maybe some day!

  2. My art helps me to see. There is no end in sight. Best wishes.
    P.S. Love your site.

  3. Is that a self-portrait…it’s gorgeous! I know exactly where you are coming from, I always fiddle too much, add too much, am always afraid I haven’t put ‘enough’ in. And yet many of my favourite artworks are minimal, all about space and texture and leaving things open and flowing. I’m thoroughly sick of ‘stuff’ and feel it’s time to declutter…my house, my mind, my life and my artwork too!

  4. @Janine, doodling is always very very beneficial, so i rather consider it important steps toward evolution. when we do things with no commitment to results, the right brain “opens up” and things just flow. enjoy this phase, dear!

    @W.H.Dietrich, what a lovely thing to say. you are totally right! thanks for the kind words!

    @Mermaid, all this series is based on a reference photo shoot i did, trying to bring out with my own body the characters that will be in the paintings. so, they will all more or less have my face and body… i am like you, i am also pretty tired of cluttered paintings. less is more. good luck in your current phase, to declutter is always a wonderful thing to do to our minds!