Magical Atmospheres that Invite to Contemplation
● Why art?
Art was a very critical part of my upbringing as my father is an artist and sculptor from Bogota who has dedicated all his life to his passion for art. All the rooms at my house growing up were commonly filled with in-progress large oil on canvas paintings. Art was something that we talked about constantly and it was something that I always enjoyed learning about, but most importantly, it gave me a very special connection with my father.
● What kind of artwork do you do?
I specialize in watercolor paintings. My artistic compositions endeavor to recreate "magical atmospheres," inviting contemplation, mindfulness, and a celebration of life.
● How has being an immigrant influenced your art?
After immigrating, I began my art career. I learned a lot about art and color theory from my father, but it wasn't until I moved to the US that I started painting with watercolors. I missed the special moments that my father and I would share, discussing art and his ongoing lessons about color theory. So, after a few weeks of moving to the US, I felt very lonely, homesick, and even anxious some days. One day, I decided to go for a walk and found myself in front of a local art materials store in Cincinnati, OH. As I walked through the aisles, I was particularly drawn to the watercolor materials section. I saw a book with a collection of botanical watercolor paintings, which reminded me of all the hikes in nature I had done with my family in Colombia and our visits to botanical gardens.
I bought the basic materials for painting with watercolors, and ever since, every time I paint, I feel close to my hometown, to my family and most importantly, I keep discovering more about myself.
● What does your work aim to say?
My artistic compositions endeavor to recreate "magical atmospheres," inviting contemplation, mindfulness, and a celebration of life. The bubbles featured in my artworks symbolize elevation, movement, and ceaseless change. These bubbles embody the particles of nature's vibrant elements, ascending skyward, defying the grip of gravity, and simultaneously allowing me to introduce harmonious color contrasts.
● What motivates and inspires you?
All elements that represent emotions and elements that show how the human being can be submerged in an environment that evokes change, fragility and resilience are elements that touch me in a personal way. Those “elements” can be colors, shapes, a portrait, patterns in nature, and I enjoy being able to recognize them and to feel more human by using them as part of my creation process.
● What process do you go through mentally when you are creating a piece?
As part of my professional career as a chemical engineer, I have learned about color science and the psychology of color. I’d say that the first step that I go through when creating a piece is recognizing an emotion that I want to represent, and with it I curate a color palette that will help me carry those feelings. In parallel I think about moments or places that I have visited that resonated with me and with the theme that I want to recreate.
As I make progress on my watercolor paintings, I like to highlight critical elements in the painting, compositions and patterns that can help me symbolize movement and celebration of life.
● What role does the artist have in society?
Throughout history artists have been critical as they provide insight into events, values, and culture. Artists often depict historical events soon after they happened, helping future generations to visualize and to understand what went on. Art acts as a collective memory of society and I can see how especially nowadays artists possess the unique ability to highlight the value of embracing the present, the necessity of introspection, and the fluidity of spirituality, all of which find diverse expressions within the realm of art.
● What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?
The toughest part of being a visual artist is carving out your unique style in a crowded artistic world. You want to be different while staying true to yourself. And then there's the practical side – making a living from your art. That means figuring out how to get your work out there and connect with people who appreciate it. It's like juggling between being true to your art and making it work in the real world.
● What themes do you pursue?
I pursue nature themes, floral art, still life, fantasy, and some if my paintings include portraiture where I add elements of cultural and ethnic influences.
● What is your dream project?
I don’t visualize all the details of my dream project yet, but I know for sure that this needs to be related to sustainability. Artists can engage audiences on environmental issues, prompt reflection, and promote positive change.
● What superpower would you have and why?
This is a fun question! I would like to have the power of healing. The power of mending emotional wounds would be amazing.
● What is the biggest mistake you have made within your career to this point?
Although this can sound like cliché, I don’t believe in mistakes in art. I am very much enjoying the current “renaissance” and the potential that my art career is having at this point.
● How have other artists or art genres influenced your sense of aesthetics?
Henri Matisse stands out as an artist I deeply admire as he used color as the foundation for his expressive paintings. I admire in general most of the artist from the Impressionist movement due to their great focus on how light could define a moment in time.
● How do you know when a work is finished?
I typically know that my watercolors are finished when I can sense a balance in composition and color. I create my paintings through layers, so when I’m done with the last layer (the closest one to the viewer), I take a step back, look at the painting and realize that the composition, colors, and details align harmoniously with the emotions or feelings that I’m trying to portray.