What inspired your winning entry? There was a small citrus plant outside my apartment building in San Jose. I started painting it out on the driveway, but two days later, someone had repotted it and picked the fruit! So I bought my own little lemon tree, brought it to my studio, and started this painting. The tiling is drawn from an old crematorium a few blocks away. I was interested in tracking the growth of the plant and watching the fruit mature over many months. I love Antonio López
García’s paintings of lemon trees, so that was in the back of my mind, as well.
How would you describe your style? My interest in pursuing painting first came from loving Renaissance and Baroque artworks. I wanted to paint like that. My interests have expanded since then to include works from earlier periods up to and including modernism. I draw from all that history to inform my work.
Where did you study art? I completed an atelier training at Gage Academy of Art in Seattle and received my master’s degree in fine art from Laguna College of Art and Design.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Go into the studio every day and paint.
What’s the most meaningful recognition you’ve received for your artwork? An Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant has been particularly supportive over the last few years, helping me pay my way through graduate school and then to paint full time.
What inspires you to paint a scene? I’m interested in how formal aspects of a
motif—like the relationships of value, color, and geometry—fit together in an abstract way to create an emotional resonance.
This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.
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