today I want to present you a great artist from Argentina.
This is the first article in the new category “Artist Interviews“. I started this category, because I think that you can learn a lot about art and drawing from good artists all over the world. So have to fun with the very interesting artist Abigail Villaseñor.
ALL PAINTINGs AND DRAWINGS THAT YOU WILL SEE IN THIS POST ARE FROM Abigail Villaseñor
Hello what’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Abigail Villaseñor and I’m from Neuquén, Argentina.
The first thing that all of us want to know, is how long does it take to draw like that. Please tell us when did you start with drawing, painting etc.?
I started drawing and painting when I was a child, I don’t really remember at what age, I think it was when I was about 5 years old. One of my teachers told my mom that I drew great and that she should send me to an art institute, at the age of 8 years I went to an institute with Gisela Bonenti and there I grew up as an artist.
Wow that’s great! Unfortunately a lot of the people in the world discovered art a little later or are just starting. They ask me how to start with art. Do you remember the moment when you decided that you want to be an artist?
I think it was always on my mind, but I realized that I want to be an art, when I finished high school. I had to choose between architecture or art. I decided to choose art and I don’t regret it, because it’s what I love and cherish the most. I like to learn new stuff, keep getting better, learn from my mistakes and have fun with every artwork.
That sounds like a hard decision! I am happy that you don’t regret it. I think following your passion is always the right way. Art means very different thing for artists. What does it mean to you and why do you like being to be an artist?
Art is something necessary in life, it gives creativity, knowledge, freedom and expression. In my life art is a must have, because I’m passionate about it. It is what I love to do and to learn. I like learning new things about art, it’s a never ending source of knowledge, always evolving. I love being an artist because of the freedom it gives, there’s no time, no schedule, you are your own boss, you can create or destroy what you want within a work of art. There’re no limitations and that’s great, it’s hard being an artist but it’s beautiful.
I agree with you creating art is very beautiful and mind opening but it is also hard work sometimes. Did you ever attend to a drawing course, workshop or do you recommend any online lessons or maybe YouTube channels?
Yes, right now I’m studying at Highlands Institute, Artistic Drawing Teaching. I also study at Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de Neuquén, Visual Arts Teacher Training Collage. Aside from that, I took seminars with Argentinian artists, like Mariano Venditti, Oscar Campos, Ricardo Celma and Goyo Barja. I didn’t take online classes, but from time to time I watch YouTube videos of artists, such as Cesar Santos channel.
Being an artist is not always easy. What is or was the hardest part to you when you started?
When I started as an artist, the hardest part was making the choice and the fear that my family would accept it and go along with that. I got frustrated when I signed up for competitions but didn’t get selected, that made me think, that my work wasn’t good, but later I learned that each competition is for different art or styles and the criteria for the selection is different too.
The ups and downs are what the people normally don’t. In my opinion the magic work for reaching your goals is “persistence”. What is your favorite piece of art?
I don’t think that I one of my pieces is my favorite, because I’m very selfdemanding and always find imperfections, or see things I could improve. If you ask me today, I think the one I like the most is my last one, the one that I made recently. It’s called “Alba“, it’s an oil painting on a 100x120cm canvas, I really liked it because that work was a hard search, since it got into my mind, then putting that idea on paper, the photos, the whole composition of the work, the use of lights and shadows and the colors (It is the first painting in this article). It was the most difficult one I ever painted. But even so, I think it got a few things that I can improve. From other artists I have a few favorites. I like Caravaggio‘s work, one of them is, “Judith Beheading Holofernes“. I love the emotion he puts in his art, the sensations it produces when you see them, the way he plays with lights, with the chiaroscuro (dark and bright contrasts). Another artist that I like is Bouguereau. Works like “Dante and Virgil in hell” and “The Birth of Venus” are splendid, the pallet he uses is beautiful, he can generate that softness, sensuality, that peace, like he does in “The Birth of Venus” and at the same time, something so dark as in “Dante and Virgil in hell”.
I always hear music when I draw. Can you tell me what kind of music do you hear when you draw?
I listen to a lot of music, according to my mood, but usually I get more passionate, more in the zone with my work when I listen to classical music, like Chopin’s Nocturnes, Bach, Mozart, Liszt. I also like to draw with opera, Piazzolla’s tangos, and sometimes I change and listen to alternative rock such as Oasis, The Smiths, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead.
What all beginners want to know is, what kind of tools do you like and what are your favorite brands?
What I like using the most, is the canvas and oil. I love painting with oil but I’m used to working on several drawings at the same time. I also try to do more drawings with graphite pencils, colored pencils or charcoal. Like that I don’t get tired of the brush, and to change things a little. For oil paintings I use Winsor and Newton, Van Gogh and Alba.
When it comes to colored pencils I like, Lyra, Faber Castell, Derwent. I think they are very good to start with colored pencils.
For graphite drawings I normally use Faber Castell and for acrylic paint Alba, Eterna, Bastidores, Seurat. Some brand are Argentinian brands.
Creating pieces of art take a lot of time. Do you want to be a professional artist and do art like a full time job? Please tell us what your goals are in art.
My idea is to work full time, to be able to create every day. I’m getting close to that. Fortunately, there are events and expos, that need a lot of my time. This means that I constantly have something to produce. Unfortunately, I haven’t the amount of time, that I would love to spend with art, because I have to complement my works with my studies. My goal with art is to be able to study abroad, go to Europe and take courses with great teachers. Another goal of mine is to exhibit my art in Europe. I would like my art to be known there.
Do you recommend some books or art pages?
Right now I’m reading “Miguel Ángel” written by Paz García Ponce de León. Books like Itten’s “The Art of Colour” are good for the theory, also “Design Fundamentals” by Robert Scott. “History of art” by Gombrich is a very interesting book as well.
Are there any artist that you like the most? Who are your favorite artists?
My favorite artists are Leonardo Da Vinci, Miguel Angel, Caravaggio, Bouguerau, Rembrandt, Friedrich, Rene Magritte, among others. And contemporaries I really like Cesar Santos, Eloy Morales, Emanuele Descanio, Serge Marshennikov, Darian Maderos, Mike Dargas, Kit king.
From my region I like Ricardo Celma, Oscar Campos, Juan Lascano, Alejandro Rosemberg, Goyo Barja.
When you surf through the internet you often see drawing posts, where people tell how long the drawing took them. Which painting or drawing took you the most time?
From my works, the one that took me the most time was “Preludio“, an oil painting on a 100x150cm canvas. It took me approximately a year to finish it. From the idea to putting it on paper, it was a difficult job because I did it from what I learned before. I experimented a lot, that’s why I used myself as a model so I could see clearly the details and anatomy of the body. I had to compose, work with the palettes. I had to think about, how I could generate what I wanted to transmit. It was a great challenge but I could finish it. As I said previously, I always find flaws in my work. This one has some too, but these are mistakes that I can learn from and get even better.
I also like Emanuel Descanio he is a great artist. I visited a workshop of him last year and learned a lot.
Have you ever thrown a paint or drawing away after some hours of work?
It happens sometimes, that a drawing or painting didn’t work like I wanted it. It happened that I erased it or covered it with paint and started all over again. I also made some works that I started and then never finished or touched ever again.
On which things should beginner focus in your opinion?
A beginner should be passionate about what he or she does, if there’s no passion when making a painting or a drawing, there is no way, that it will turn out good. The other aspect that should be focused on, is experimenting, learning what style is best for the message you want to transmit, and of course which one you like the most. Always studying, learning new concepts, accepting constructive criticism. Practice a lot, stay in constant motion and learn, speed up the hand, be more visual, train the mind. For me the things you have to practice the most, are drawing proportions and scales. That’s the base for a good work. Painting is also a complex world, the hues, lights, shadows and contrasts.
What’s your favorite art museum?
I don’t know many museums. From the ones I know, I like the Museo de Bellas Artes the Buenos Aires the most. They have beautiful works from Bouguereau for example. I would love to know museums like the Louvre, Museo del Padro, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, etc.
Did you ever thought about stopping with art?
Not really, I never thought about stopping but I had some up and downs in regional contests and maybe then I thought about stopping, but that only made me stronger, it made me grow and become even better. Every day I want to learn more. There are a lot of things, that I don’t know or haven’t done so far. I still have lot of things to learn!
Thank you very much Abigail for telling us so much interesting things about your life and your art!
I think one of the biggest things people can learn from you, are to always go one with the learning process, trying as many things out as possible, choosing your goals without out fear but with passion and like I said before being persistent!
If you want to see more of Abigails work, please visit her Facebook page!
I wish good luck with your future goals Abigail!
All the Best
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