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  • Writer's pictureagprat


Updated: Aug 29, 2020

My first and true love is oil painting. As a child, I experimented drawing with pencil and ink, then, with watercolor paint, but it was not until I brushed oil paint on a canvas for the first time that I felt the sense of awe which remains every time I open a tube of oil paint. The smell, the texture, the luscious quality; the versatility due to oil paint’s resistance to drying so that it can be easily re-worked -- even when sometimes is taking too long to dry.

I also paint with other media, including acrylics, a reasonable alternative to oil, due to how easy it can be cleaned and its convenience, since it dries within minutes -- an exceptional quality for my tendency to layer in my practice. Over the years, I have also explored techniques as varied as monotype/monoprint, collage, or encaustic. And from all these experiments, I have accumulated a significant amount of artwork that fills my drawers and portfolios.

Last week, I came across an opportunity to make an art book with an extremely tight deadline. In less than a week, I had to work on filling 36 pages, 7.5 x 7.5 inches each. Before even touching the pages, I spent some time planning the images and working on a script for yet another pandemic-related story, a minimalist story about how the virus came to our lives and whether there is an end in sight: "Spreading: a short story". Going through all my hoarded materials and artwork, I designed a flow of images with words: a picture book, an art book. I worked against the clock, allowing for some unexpected deviations from my plan to transpire.

Once finished, the book really surprised me since it had just as many planned relations or designs as those produced by my intuition that came along organically, in what felt like a magical process -- the art of creation in its purest form. I definitely had to silence my internal voice that insisted in bringing doubt to the process and my choices, but it was so rewarding to move forward and move past these voices, thus learning to let them go evermore easily.

I could have let the fear of running out of time, or the critical voice of self-doubt, win, but I persevered. I learned a lot from making this book, not only technically, but also emotionally, as I was pushed out of my comfort zone. I am delighted I persisted.

I delivered my book to the Hallspace Gallery in Dorchester, MA that will exhibit it and other fantastic books that were submitted by accompanying artists for the Droplets/Hallspace Drawing Project 2020 show, from September 5th to October 10th, 2020. Stay tuned in my News section with more info about this exhibit.

Image: From "Spreading: a short story", mixed media (art book), that will be in exhibition in the Droplets/Hallspace Drawing Project 2020 (Dorchester, MA). If you are interested in knowing more about this artwork, the exhibit, or any other of my pieces please contact me here.

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