Frida and Me: Lessons, Expectations and Futures

Last night was the Private View of the Exhibition Frida and Me, at the Art Nest (Hitchin). It was a magical evening, the sun shining and friends gathering around this event. As this is my first solo exhibition, I was delighted to see the 36 works exhibited properly in a gallery. What a difference the space/place makes!  Seeing the paintings surrounded by the white background enhanced their worth!

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Apart of that, the opening day (private view) was so artistic and charming: The beautiful drinks & food, and the magic atmosphere in the summer evening made of this a very special moment in my life.  I think that these are the moments that one can put into the Bank of Love and Creativity, and the more you collect them, share them and give them away, the more you have in your bank. And from time to time, when you need to find your special place, like browsing through your personal library or a fantastic emotion-scape you can get there and find it. Indeed, I read recently that creativity is like a tap, the more you open it the more water you get!

10419585_10154501143815657_5381195016573943818_nWith the beautiful Aanka Batta, talking about the Universal Bank of Love…

“There is not such a thing as loving too much… all love goes to the Universal Bank of Love” Beatriz Acevedo

 

I truly believe in the power of giving and sharing, as commented by Deprak Chopra in his 7 laws for the spiritual success. Moreover I have experienced it in my own life! So for this exhibition, I have been very lucky: the enthusiasm of my gallerist Emmeline Webb (The Art Nest), as well as the kind company of Lesley Longworth; the unconditional faith of my husband; and the encouraging messages of my friends! I was so humbled by the love of my friends, coming from all around the country, driving miles just to be with me.. thanks so much!!!!

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With the lovely Sam Warren (patron, supporter, globe trotter and blogger)

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With filmaker Antonis Papavasiliou and Romas Malevicius (GoGreen Creative Director)

 

 

What did I learn from this exhibition:

a.  Work work work.  I had lots of work done for the exhibition, it was not only the Fridas paintings mostly created this year, but many other drawings, acrylics, etc, that were part of my relationship with Frida.  My friend Diana Uribe, who interviewed the famous colombian painter Fernando Botero, told me that his “secret” was to keep on working, every day, all the time… so when a good opportunity emerges he has enough work to show!

b.  Impeccability: In the sense of paying attention to the final details: the finishings, the borders, the process of varnishing, the signature, framing, hanging, all of these can take a lot of time.

c.  Spectacle:  I planned to have a piñata and it became a central point of the evening. Perhaps for next time I will fill the pinata with more adult things… but the thing about this is to have a focal point of the evening and give some “freebies” or “souvenirs” of the exhibition.

d. Catalog: I am delighted with the catalog, it looks very professional and it gives people the opportunity to understand the work. Thanks to the blog I was able to make sense of the whole creative process. For the catalog, I reduced the amount of text for fitting a A4 page, and I added some extra pictures of my own work/creative process. The catalog needs to be printed on demands, and it has a minimum price of £15 (just to cover the costs!)

e. Interaction:  I have thought that this exhibition can be supported with some workshops and other events. Due to the limitations of time/space/experience I am only offering a Seminar/Workshop on Frida and Me. The aim is to explore the exhibition in terms of my own creative process and to share some of the main aspects of Frida’s life linked with her socio-cultural milieu. I think that as a Latin American artist I have a privileged knowledge on the Latin American history and cultural development, and this is part of what I want to share in the seminar. In addition, i will be directing a “self-portrait” exercise, so, the audience can use the self-portrait as a means to reflect/explore their own lives, the moment that they are living, or any other existential aspect linked to their persona.

 

So, what I am expecting from this exhibition:

First of all, I am already building a good portfolio of paintings, a new style and learning of a different technique (oil painting) and genre (portraiture) to add to my tool set, as well as the paintings themselves. I also have the catalogue that I can send to some other galleries and patrons.

I would like to:

a. To increase the visibility of my work, through the art gallery (online) and in situ. In this regard,

b. To find out what is next in my path… I don’t know what/how exactly this can happen, it is just that I would like a “sign” or a most specific message of what’s next… it can be another exhibition, it can be the feedback of new audiences seeing my work….

c. To explore new markets and audiences. This is very important part of my development as an artist, as I am increasingly convinced on the need of finding the right person who likes my art. It is crucial to have new email addresses to add to my mail list.

d. To sell my work, specially because I’d like the gallery to get some ROI (Return of Investment), and because I would like that more people acquire my work. Check the website of the art nest for online art (using credit cards, paypal and an innovative system for reserving art work).

e. To develop  and test a whole package of “art/event/spectacle/catalog/interaction” so I can share this in different galleries across the UK and the world (why not?).

f. To be aware of my emotional journey:  At the moment I felt a bit weird, in the sense of feeling empty after the whole effort. Maybe I am a bit tired after the stress of putting together this exhibition, or maybe it is just the heat of this summer that has made me into a lethargic being…

 

What’s next?

As suggested by Austin Kleon, I am actually “chain-smoking” as I have a number of projects in the waiting list:

I am working on a new botanical project with the anthropologist / ethnobotanist Marta Lucia Prado, on her magnificent work on palms. She has worked for almost 15 years with indigenous communities in the Amazonas and her work is impressive!  I am intrigued by the beauty of this plants, as they are also now so trendy! So Please Watch this space, a new blog is coming!!!

I need to complete my illustrated children’s book, a project that I started a long time ago and that I can send to a competition next month.

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Preparatory drawings for children’s book

I am also preparing an article for the Art of Management conference about Foucault and Painting, an exploration of how this philosopher used paintings as historical archive… I will start with my own paintings about the Ship of Fools and the Extraction of the Folly Stone.

I need to prepare for the Open Studios in September, so I would like to re-organise my studio, install some picture hangers and make it more welcoming. I was a bit shy with this and now I regret to have only one weekend available… never mind, next time!

And of course, to return to my part time work at the university that supports my art…  So lot’s of things to do!

 

 

 

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