Painter Natalie Anaya creates images that transform everyday objects and places into thoughtful, compelling artworks. Enjoy, and visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
As a child, I was the kind that would see creatures outlined on the popcorn ceiling in my bedroom and on the drops of water left on the shower stall (on which I would also draw with my fingers), or see a landscape in a pile of laundry.
I was fascinated by the reflections on the tiles in the hallway, how they could change in the course of a day, and could spend a long time sitting there, observing and daydreaming. To this day, most of my dreams that involve a house take place in that one, my early childhood home, even though I have not been back in it for two decades.
I am fortunate to have been able to travel and live in different places during my formative years. I was raised in Puerto Rico, where I live now, but as a student I lived in France and Germany, before resuming art studies in San Francisco. These places informed the ways in which I see, how I perceive space, how I interact with the people with whom I live and how I define beauty. I saw as much art as I could during those years and learned from professional artists in each place.
I think my early fascination with the space we call home, and the objects we choose to inhabit it with, have determined the themes in my work. After college, I began my artistic career painting different areas of my home, as well as the people in it and the objects they bring.
I developed an interest for interior spaces that speak about the people that inhabit them, about their emotions and interactions.
After a while, one object stood out in the frequency and dedication with which I painted it: fabric, both from clothing and beds. My attraction to fabric has to do with its poetic beauty, the intricacy of the folds and the softness of the light reflected on it.
Also, it can carry many meanings; fabric can refer to the desire for warmth and protection, a return to the womb, but also about the tendency to conceal, to alter one’s appearance. A messy bed can tell a story while a view into a person’s closet can serve as a window onto his or her personality.
My medium is oil painting because of its immediacy, because the slow drying time permits me to rework areas more often and because of the richness of the colors I am able to mix with it. Mainly I paint realistically, but I am being influenced by abstraction more and more. For a while now I have been experimenting with abstract compositions, expressive brushwork and altered points of view that I integrate within realistic paintings.
Frequently, clients will see one of my paintings and ask if they can commission a similar one inspired in their home. I am honored by this request since it tells me that I was able to grasp the aura of the place well enough for people to feel I am capable of doing the same for theirs.
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