WHAT’S EXCITING IN THE WORLD OF PAINTING?
The work of Anna Valdez, a young painter based in the San Francisco Bay Area, who uses her luscious, vivid still lifes full of plants, textiles, books, clothing and more to tell stories about unseen people and their lives. It was her background in anthropology that sparked an interest in how objects and pictures can tell us about our own lives.
“At a young age I was interested in archaeology and how the remnants of material culture reconstructed a story of the past. This led me to study Anthropology at the University of California, Davis, and there I realized I was captivated by the power of images as a form of communication. This curiosity guided me towards pursing an MFA at Boston University in Painting, and now I work full-time as a visual artist.”
WHAT MAKES HER STILL LIFES SO CAPTIVATING?
It’s the detail involved, the elements that make up an image and that also can show us a little of ourselves and our world, too.
“Using still lifes as a subject has a lot to do with my interest in how materials can be used to construct a story of an individual. Also, the possibilities with still life painting are endless. I enjoy arranging and rearranging set-ups in my studio and I am constantly surrounded with little moments that become paintings. I think it’s the accessibility of still life painting that I find the most intriguing.”
HOW DOES SHE GO ABOUT MAKING THESE PAINTINGS?
Using oil paint and plenty of props in her Bay Area studio. Anna is inspired by the work of painters like David Hockney and Matisse when it comes to her own art.
“I am a curious person, so research plays a huge role in my behaviour and I tend to spend a lot of energy looking at paintings, reading art blogs, drawing from my environment and engaging with other artists. Currently I am working on a series of paintings that depict studio references. I am combining plants, books, records, textiles, clothing, vessels, drawings, and other paintings in arrangements that construct a personal and cultural narrative.”
You can check out more of Anna’s work on her site here and you can follow her on Twitter here, too!