When looking at a painting, many people wonder about the person behind the art. So how to begin?
I suppose I’ll start at the beginning with a blank sheet of paper. Just like when I have to make a decision where I am unsure of which direction to take. It’s the same with painting, even as I progress, I never know what I’m going to paint. While my story and all that is connected to it could influence the outcome, the painting develops its own life and voice. I just happen to be the messenger who transmits it.
I’m a clinical psychologist by profession, and recently, I gravitated towards marketing, more specifically, consumer behavior. This interest led me to pursue a master’s degree in the field, which I will complete at the end of 2020. Initially, it seemed like I was deviating from my original path, but I was amazed to discover that there were more things in common with my background than I thought. At this point, I consider marketing to be around ninety percent psychology.
In my spare time, I also enjoy spending time with my family and our dogs, Milo and Felipe. Additionally, I am a voracious reader who loves delving into books about psychoanalysis, sociology, and all things marketing. I am an animal lover, and whenever possible, I collaborate with organizations that care for the environment.
How did I end up painting?
It’s good to ask yourself questions, but even better, is the ability to give yourself answers. To be honest, I was never, ever interested in painting. Despite before taking this path I always wanted an easel for my house, I must admit, I only viewed them as adornments. It didn’t make sense to buy one, as they seemed expensive and impractical to be just that, an adornment in the corner. This was also my approach to the art world.
As they say, expect the unexpected. That’s precisely what occurred when someone shared a flyer with an image and link to an artist’s site. What I saw on that paper and on the internet, can be summed up with one word: IMPACT.
How the style touched me, took me by surprise. I began to question. “Why does this summon such strong feelings?” “Why does something so foreign to me, not only call my attention but bring such pleasure when I see it?” Never being one who connected with the art world, it caught me off guard. I was captivated. The more I looked at the work, the more effect it had on my senses. Outside of the pleasure of looking into a woman’s eyes, I had never experienced this sensation with art. Perhaps you could say it was love at first sight.
What did I do with this unforeseen and unexpected encounter? Since I was had obligations at the time, I safeguarded the flyer. The pleasant sensations of that first glance kept calling me back to look at those works. I mulled around with the question, “Why did seeing this style of painting impact me so deeply?” I couldn’t let go of the sensation that captivated me with these pieces. All the colors dancing in combination were incredible to me. It relaxed me. Simply put, I felt good.
Then, just like all things, with the flyer out of site, time flew by. After a year or two, my curiosity peeked again, and I revisited the website with the paintings. To my surprise, my reaction was identical to the first time I saw them. I was still in love with this style.
So, what did I do?
What any person does when they feel love at first sight? They go after it!
I went back to the website and took note of the name of the technique, as the contact information of the artist who created it. I made an appointment, and I went to see him. It was there I met a very open, humble, and intelligent man, with a subtle, yet sarcastic humor. Someone who had lived a life filled with stories that could captivate you for hours. He had a wealth of linguistic resources to pull from when he spoke.
He asked me, “What brought you here?”
I was very frank, “Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing here. Painting is not my thing. I’ve never spent time in the art world, and I never liked to draw or paint. I’m not really interested in all that, though. But there is something about this style of art that has something that captivates me, and I can’t shake the happiness I feel when looking at it.”
After listening to my confession of love, he said, “Okay, you want to start next week?”
I agreed but made sure to tell him that I wasn’t fully committed just yet, “I might come to some classes, see what it’s about, and then stop because I don’t know if this is something I will like.” I insisted again, “I don’t know how to draw or paint, nor am I an artist.” In hindsight, that last part was said in a somewhat diminishing way.
He smiled, laughed, and said, “I think it’s fantastic, and actually much better that you can’t draw, paint or do anything artistic. It will be much easier to show you what it’s all about.” (Apparently, my lack of artistic background was going to be an asset.)
And so, began a journey which I could not detach. It was there, I found my space of “expressiveness”, “pleasure”, “disconnection”, or “reconnection”. This technique, Essentialism, and its creator and master, Heriberto Zorrilla, allowed me to finally connect with the art world in a way I never expected.
I quickly discovered that the exquisite experience of being a spectator only observing the colors was nothing compared to the experience of painting it. With it, came a whole analogy of life. Of how we stand in it and how we stand before the decisions. The questions we ask ourselves about which paths to take. How we approach the spaces in life. The blank canvas sometimes summons anguish because we do not know how or where to start, what turns to make, what decisions or risks to take, where to pause, or when we are finished and can move on to another subject (i.e., another canvas).
When I’m creating, spontaneity takes center stage. I don’t have the whole image or concept in my mind. As I start painting, it begins to build. And as I go along, I flow with the paths that present themselves. And so, frame by frame, this commitment is refined. It responds more to our sensitivity than to our ability. Each blank rectangle will be an adventure, it will be like an analogy of our lives in the way we conquer space and where our experience is combined with others; where nothing is resolved, but we are forced to make choices anyway.
As an abstract artist, I want to finish by saying that to appreciate these works for their uniqueness. The observer must leave aside their “censors,” that in a corrosive instance, can interrupt life. The “custody of rationality” that bursts in and coerces us to understand what we as artists are trying to express and replace that attitude. The spectator must let himself be moved by the piece like an invitation.
Pablo J. Scuzzarello