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Soul: Painting is a Part of Me

Blanca Garmendia from Venezuela

Blanca Garmendia
All photos: Blanca Garmendia

 


Blanca Garmendia, a young Venezuelan artist, shares her feelings about what painting means to her. She lets us have a look at some of her paintings and tells us about them.

 

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painting

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Have you ever imagined how your spirit could look? Have you ever thought about what your soul is like?

These questions, simple in appearance, have made me think a lot and have given me a universe of ideas to paint for the last three years.

In the beginning, when I was in The Art School, one of my main tasks consisted in studying all the things that surrounded me. I had the hard work of observing very carefully each thing in front of me to try to understand its shape and try to catch its sense.

At a first look, it seems to be easy because many people think; for example, that a stone is a stone, and there is not too much to study or think about it. But have you ever thought of the fact that very simple things like stones can be complex subjects? Yes, they are because every single stone has its own shape, color and even its own smell. Every stone is special and different than others.

At the present time, we are so busy and in such a hurry that we lose the capacity to observe things. Instead, we just take a look at them, which is not the same as to observe and analyze something deeply. From the beginning of our education, we learn how to draw objects. All children draw them in the same way, because we don't learn how to differentiate things and how to represent them as they really are. This is one of the reasons why, when we grow up, we no longer have the capacity to observe.

When we learn to "observe" things instead of "watch" things, we see the world with other eyes. In consequence, we reproduce it differently. Actually I think this is the work of an artist. In addition, each person is different and each artist transmits or reflects his/her personality to the subject to be created in his/her representation of the reality.

In my personal case I have been working on art since I was a child. In the process of learning, which I think will never end, my work has been changing while passing through different phases. In all those phases, the idea of the soul was always present—not as a main idea but, it was there for the simple reason that all things have an essence; by consequence, all things have a kind of soul.

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Today my work consists of a pictorial study based on the idea that I have about the appearance of my soul. I can imagine when I think of this spirit, which all of us have, that it is like a shiny light inside of us. For me this light is the energy that makes us feel. I can imagine this light as a beginning of all our thoughts and acts, like a source of energy that everyone carries inside, which is at times light and dark at others. Is very funny to imagine a lot of lights floating in the air when I am walking in the street and I see the people passing.

In my paintings, the soul is represented by twilights and shines that are present in spread surfaces and show how this light shines. This light also has a relation with feelings so that is why sometimes, for example, I represent the soul by showing a dark light as a blue feeling or a bright light as a joy.

I used to use in my paints tones between yellows and violets, trying to show this light without any reference to a real thing like a sky, and trying to show this mysterious light as a light from inside of us and not from our exterior. They are to me like soul's landscapes.

Painting for me is not something additional that I do; it is a part of my life. To take a brush, to smell the oil's aroma, to feel the texture of a surface, to play with the density of color by adding more oil or turpentine, to be sleeping and suddenly awaken thinking about the pictorial composition that I recently made or about the wrong or the right color that I put on five hours before, to know that as things of the world are different, paints are, too…All these experiences are some of the reasons why I don't think -as many people do- that painting is something of the past, that it is an obsolete discipline that has to be replaced by new art expressions because "Everything in paint is already done."

 

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