came to my attention through the Arts and Artists of 614 FB page and I saw that she was friends with many of the people I knew in the arts scene so I checked out her work. Eventually, she and I managed to meet in person at her new ‘studio’ aka a room in her apartment…. I loved what I saw and here we are!!!
She Now Sees with New Eyes (2015) 48″ x 48″
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Natalia never envisioned a life away from where she grew up and had no intentions of making her way to the US. She graduated from Antilles High School in Fort Buchanan. While in high school, more specifically her junior year, her Spanish teacher, Mrs. Vecchini, inspired Natalia’s creative side with her in depth poetry lessons. Although she remembers spending a lot of time alone as a child, writing, drawing and coming up with little projects for herself, she didn’t have goals to become an artist. But class with Mrs. Vecchini changed all of that! Her teacher’s vivid understanding of each poet and their poetry and the passion and eloquence that flowed through her, made an indelible impression on Natalia’s young mind. From that point on, so many words were transformed into tangible images in her head and it excited her to no end that she had the ability to recreate them through her paintings. ‘Painting allowed me to release my innermost thoughts; ones that I had no words for.’
His Only Fear was Being Stagnant (2015) 48″ x 48″
So when about three months before her graduation, her parents asked her if she wanted to go to college in Texas and live with her uncle, it opened a whole new vision for her life. She began exploring colleges with fine arts programs and applied to several. After much research, she landed on CCAD and came north to where ‘the air hurts my face’ !!! LOL! Fast forward and this young lady graduated with her BA (Magna Cum Laude) from CCAD in May 2015.
Categorization of her art is something she is hesitant to do. She thinks that in doing this she puts limits on herself and what she creates. That’s because what she creates is always changing as she feels she is. She did say that she thinks her work is best represented by Symbolism because she attempts to express inner truths and mysteries that lie beneath outward appearances to represent an “absent reality”. There’s always a message that she is sharing through her works. Otherwise, she would not paint! As for the techniques she utilizes, she states that she draws on Baroque paintings, using that style of high contrast of lights and shadows (chiaroscuro)to create deep illusionistic spaces. She also draws from the vibrant color pallet of Impressionism.
Etapas del Cafe (2016)
Ever since I can remember, I have been constantly questioning what it means to be
human. I find myself on a long journey, roaming through utterly
different worlds. Sometimes I stay for a brief amount of time, knowing
I have little to give or take from it; other times I stay awhile, thriving
from this new realm. As I roam, I take note of my place within each
world, learning about myself in the process; with the knowledge that I
have a world within myself, although it is constantly changing, it must
only prosper. This search for truth is what inspires me. My paintings are reports,
notes and discoveries of this journey.
Natalia with Caitlin’s kitty, Sam
One of the techniques she uses frequently is layering. Most of her paintings are done with acrylics which dry quickly. So, instead of blending paint, she layers it on starting with a simple under painting and adding detail with each new layer. The color palette that she uses is what she thinks makes her work more unique. She mixes most of her colors using just primary colors plus white, yellow ochre and burnt sienna when working with skin tones. She never uses black. From just 5-6 tubes, she makes all of her own colors, hardly ever using the original color by itself.
One Needs Eyes That Know How to See (2015) 30″ x 40″
Most of her work was sold from the studio at 400 West Rich that she shared with 2 other artists. Just recently, she chose to move her studio to the apartment she shares with her artist roomie, Caitlin Watters. They now use the front and middle rooms of their place for their studios, saving money and giving them both a space to create without distractions. She is now experimenting with some new works that incorporate her unique color palette in more geometric forms…as she puts it: I am attempting to paint vibrations, frequencies and energies with the use of color, shape and forms. I call these newer paintings ‘musical paintings’ since I use sound to come up with these pieces.
Currently, she is working on a list of commissions (portraits and landscapes mainly) while also working on a series of paintings meant to be shown in a gallery setting. A small show at Haiku Poetic Food and Art called ‘Union of the Opposites’ was extremely motivating for her, leading her to want to produce more gallery-worthy works. She also hopes to open an Etsy.com shop soon that will feature past works and is on the lookout for new group shows to enter and gallery spaces for exhibitions. We spent some time talking about local groups and collectives like Cap City Creatives and CAW (hope she joins!!) that provide support for area artists as well as her desire to get more involved with Independents’ Day this year.
A new piece that she is working on
A few weeks ago she started working part-time at Red Velvet Coffee House (you know, having a regular income makes creating art a little more palatable, no pun intended!) located next to Dirty Frank’s. She told me that she saw the walls in this coffee house and thought…’hmmmm, these could be perfect for displaying local artists work!’ So she applied for a job, got it and has dreams of becoming a curator of their space. I can’t wait to see where her aspirations take her not just at the coffee house but in general!
Soror Mystica (2015) 48″ x 60″
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