With a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning, tell us about your transition to becoming a fine artist. I am a mixed media artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Drawing on my background in science, I create evocative and purposely imperfect paintings inspired by nature’s geometric repetitions, patinas, and time-worn layers of archaeological sites.
I tend to see myself as a creative visual artist rather than a painter. The contrasting nature of the organic and its window to dream-like-places fascinate me. My paintings reflect the scope of imagery viewed from the vastness of space or through a microscope. My work in jewelry and painting began as hobbies. However, in 2014, I received a Fine Art Certificate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and decided to embark on a new career as a professional artist. This year I will obtain the Advanced Study Certificate in Painting also from Emily Carr University.
How you would describe your painting style and your artistic process? I paint intuitively from the heart. Working with texture and multi-layers in my mixed-media paintings and in my jewelry allows me to express nature and culture in an abstract way, to communicate what is deep inside me and to encourage the viewer to be moved by its beauty. Painting in abstract form challenges me to represent reality in a veiled, mysterious, and intriguing way. Abstraction and the use of texture allow me the freedom to transform what I see and feel into my own expression.
For me, the artistic process is one of constant discovery and conversation — the painting speaks to me, telling me what it needs and I respond. My work is unique in the way I combine texture and washes. I apply multiple layers of coloured gel mediums, mixed with textural elements, each partially revealed to create a 3D effect. I use texture to blur the line between painting and sculpture, inviting a tactile experience. I also use multiple glazes of colour to produce contrast and harmony, creating lightness, fluidity, and ephemeral atmospheric effects.
How do you incorporate your interest in various cultures into your work? My textured paintings strive to reflect and connect cultures through the use of ancient and modern materials, colours, and techniques. I integrate human-made and natural elements like traditional textile designs from various cultures of my native Peru. The use of both elements is associated with a deep concern for environmental degradation and waste, so in many ways I think of my work as functioning in the realm of recycling as I use re-usable materials, the connection to nature is important and continuous.
There is also hints of Asian symbolism in my paintings as I attempt to incorporate some of the five elements of Japanese philosophy: earth, water, fire, wind, and void meaning “sky” or “heaven,” by giving my paintings an atmospheric effect with thin transparent layers, an introspective-golden zen experience. I am also drawn to Indigenous and primitive art, its symbolism, simplicity, honesty, and inventiveness, distorted yet primal in its raw geometry, provides inspiration to create a new artistic language with new forms, colours, and meanings.
What memorable responses have you had to your work? I find the connection that some of my viewers have to my ethereal-like paintings very exciting. At the same time, I find it humbling when viewers immerse themselves in the layers, shades, and textures of my paintings and they share with me how they are seduced into a visual-tactile and emotional experience ranging from serenity to energy. When this connection is made, I feel my mission is accomplished as I inspired self-discovery and created a connection between the viewer and artist.
How would you describe the colours that you use in your paintings? I use an earthy, quiet palette echoing the hues found in metallic patinas, Raku pottery, weathering metals, and ancient glass. I use intense turquoises, luminous teals and yellows, haunting blues, earthy ochres and sienna’s, deep burgundies and mysterious charcoals and blacks. I also use metallic paints and foils to accent textures to give my paintings more luminosity. The textures, luminosity, and colours in my artwork attract and seduce the viewer to see ethereal landscapes that invite a didactic dialogue between the viewer and myself, the artist.
What is integral to the work of an artist? Originality and uniqueness, continuous education and improvement. Being different, respecting the copyright of other artists, and producing art that is affordable is all integral to my practice.
Tell us about your most recent work. My recent work continues the textural exploration of patinas and patterns of light and wind as they travel across water and rock. Although this work is still connected to the natural environment, these ethereal landscapes represent states of being rather than specific places, encouraging the viewer into a mood of physical beauty and spiritual inspiration.