Pasión is passion in Spanish, and it is where the best of us comes from. When I am asked, what is my passion, my response is always Art. It has been since I first can remember and it will always be. From my early childhood watching my parents draw for fun and learning from them, through my discovery years when traveling abroad in Europe and finding out that this world is much bigger than the visual space around me. The paintings of the renaissance called most of my attention for their beautiful composition and symbolism, but I never thought that I had talent enough to be able to do it myself. I discovered oil painting during a difficult episode in my life and I instantly fell in love with it. It was an intimidating medium for me, as it usually is on anything you don't know anything about at the beginning, but I found the courage and was determined to learn and try it out.
While some people are fans of music pop artists, I am a fan of the old renaissance artists Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Botticelli. Maybe I am just an old soul. As I grew older and my taste and aesthetics evolved, I discovered new artists and mediums but my passion to oil continued to grow. In the last ten years or so, I have discovered new artists that continue to surprise and inspire me, to name a few Odd Nerdrum and Kehinde Wiley.
Let's say I learned to paint in oils on the job, while doing studies of paintings I admired. One in particular that is near and dear to my heart was the study of a Caravaggio painting "Betrayal of Christ". It actually took me a couple of years to complete because it was incredibly intimidating. I remember going to sleep thinking of the section I was to paint next and looking at the original for clues on how to make it happen. The amount of visual effects Caravaggio used in the painting were incredible and in the original, just plain successful. To make the painting my own, with all due respect to Caravaggio, I changed the face of Jesus to the face of a colleague artist of mine, in addition to his own hands. This is a huge painting, 60" wide x 48" tall. I was able to sell the painting to a hospital in Chicago. I often think of this painting as proof that I can paint. But it also taught me an incredible amount of patience and higher understanding of color and how it reacts to light and dark.
I continued to paint for some time trying portraits and original work that included crumbled paper as in the samples below.
I stopped painting for many years after my career change to graphic design. It was just energy consuming to design all day and then get home and paint. But through the years, I have felt as if something has been missing out of my life. Just this past May I decided to get back into painting. It was like riding a bike. I started with a paper study to get me back into the habit of painting. Here are some progress photos as I produced this study.
I have a variety of ideas of paintings I would like to produce in the next few months. One of them is a new canvas I have started called Two Cranes. The painting has personal symbolism. It is about two origami cranes that I folded, then unfolded to unveil the lines that have been left from the folding unto the paper. The painting will be finished with a sky background. This is a painting in progress.