@ Lili Velazquez
When working on a new project, what are the first steps you take?
My approach to starting any new projects or series has changed with time. Initially, the most important thing for me was to “tune in” to a specific state of mind that allowed me to paint freely, responding intuitively to every decision during the creative process. Recently, I am trying to be more specific about ideas, distilling them into images that communicate more precise concepts without forcing the outcome. Flexibility is the key to find new ways to express how we feel. At this stage of my career, intuition, experience, concentration, knowledge and curiosity are the ingredients to my working method, and even at this point, there is no guarantee of success in each piece even using all these ingredients! Art is a mysterious thing! I truly believe that the first steps in the creative process come from the need to communicate something meaningful to us, without that need, paintings could become just images. Art happens when we manage to create life inside those images…
Do you change your techniques from time to time?
As a self taught painter, technique is a beautiful and painful journey through trial and error. Painting is also a wonderful way of discovering effects, colour, materials and techniques that match our temperament or our inner voice. As I learn, I change. My technique has evolved to accommodate the speed while working, the intensity of light or the sense of movement within abstract compositions.
What have been the highlights of your artistic career?
As painters, sometimes we are able to create paintings that truly reveal who we are and our deepest emotions, a highlight in our private life in the studio. However, there have been moments in my career when I felt that I was making true progress. My first solo show with Rosenberg & Kaufman Gallery was particularly exciting as it marked my debut in New York and the beginning of my international career, followed by a very special commission to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the iconic American composer George Crumb. We created a very large composition called “Masca” to be presented on the stage at the Symphony Space Theatre in Manhattan in collaboration with the fantastic International Contemporary Ensemble ICE. I also had a few opportunities to participate in auctions alongside many important artists whilst reaching important collectors. I also love to be part of the Dictionary of Art in Britain since 1945, an honour as a Spanish artist.
“Masca” at the Rosemberg & Kaufman Gallery, New York
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I feel really lucky to have this insatiable need to paint, a need that gives me a sense of direction, identity and enjoyment. Painting is a way of exploring life whilst producing visual landmarks within my own experience of the world. When I complete what I consider to be a good piece, I feel at the centre of my universe, a place that takes me forward in this extraordinary emotional journey. And then, when people respond to my work with passion and excitement, my vision feels complete and the need to go further increases. I enjoy learning, discovering, feeling moved and moving people, that is the most enjoyable part of my creative work.
Looking back at your earlier works, what do you think about them today?
I look at them with affection and curiosity, I can see how I am developing just looking back. Early work reflects who I was at a particular time, it shows both lack of technical ability and strength, passion and limitations at the same time. It shows truth but also the need to improve, always needing to improve to make progress!
Fernando Velázquez’s profile on Singulart: https://www.singulart.com/en/artist/fernando-vel%C3%A1zquez-1911