Journey into Mexican Culture: Painter Sonia Melendez
See more work at: www.SoniaMelendez.artweb.com
Being a painter
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
I am a Canadian artist who has been inspired by Mexican traditional artisans. I love the bright colours, the poignant images of the ancients, and the rich textures of handmade weavings. My paintings are a journey into a world where the past lives within the present and represent the timelessness of the Mexican culture.
While living in Mexico City, I sold several paintings on commission while learning as much as possible about the history and people of the great country. At present, I am constructing my webpage and am in the process of creating a new series of paintings.
How and when did you start out as a painter?
Since I was a child. I always felt comfortable with a paintbrush in hand. Somehow I just seemed to know what I wanted to do and how to do it.
What training did you have?
What has been your best creative achievement so far?
I sold several paintings in Mexico City on commision. The purchaser wanted them for his private collection and I received several requests afterwards from new customers.
Who is your favourite artist?
What are you aiming for?
I would like to one day open my own product line with my paintings as the focal point.
How will you get there?
I want to make my paintings as known as possible beforehand.
Is anything holding you back?
Impatience. I often want to jump from the middle to the end of the process without focusing on the middle.
You and painting
What sort of reactions do you get to your work? are you ever surprised?
Most people are drawn to the brilliant colours and find my work very uplifting. It always makes me happy to know that I’ve made someone’s day just a little bit brighter.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
It depends on the piece I am working on. Some pieces require more detailed, intricate work. Smaller paintings can take 10 hours to complete whereas the larger ones might require a few hours a day for a month or so.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I usually prefer silence while painting. I like the sound of birds in the trees and the wind in the leaves as it is very soothing.
What is next in the pipeline for you? Any new directions or shows coming up?
I am creating my website and am hoping to arrange a showing in the near future.
Being inspired by painting
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
The Mexican artisans are my true inspiration, making such beautiful pieces out of so few materials. They are absolute masters of their craft.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as a painter?
Mexican artisan work is the inspirational jumping off point for all my paintings. I love the vibrant colours and rich shapes of traditional artwork.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
Life. I love the flow of the images, the way each element connects with the other. The colours are very soothing and remind me of a summer morning.
a painter’s advice
Have you got any advice for those starting out as a painter?
Follow your heart. Do what interests you and do not settle for second best.