Manuela Illera plunged head first into her painting and surfaced with the following splaining thoughts:
Thoughts about the process of “Listen to the Flow of Life” art piece
The beginning of an art piece is always a challenge. Sometimes I’ve spend weeks organizing what I need to start a new painting. Lately, this “beginning syndrome” has decreased to about two days of just doing nothing in front of the surface.
For this commissioned art piece my parameters were simple – Positive vibes and nothing pornographic. I started sketching.
The painting is for Emmy Horstkamp, a writer and an artist and the founder of Munich Artists. Emmy commissioned the work and allowed me to use her studio space – a fantastic spot right in the city center.
The studio is a magnificent atelier with everything needed to create art and when I say everything I mean everything: drawers and shelves filled with tapes, paintings, tools, brushes, sprays, markers, books, papers, pencils and more.
Here I was, working downtown, with my painting clothes and “The Heliocentrics” playing in the back.
With big pieces or commissions there is always some factor that could alter my approach to the artwork. When it comes to sketches and free drawings I flow, I’m like a fish in the water. But when it is something bigger, which is my favorite way to work, some insecurities and fears come out.
Thoughts, emotional states, problems, desires and questions aren’t separate from the painting in that particular moment of creation. Even breakfast and weather will play a specific roll in the feeling of the painting. Sometimes it is really mental; my focus is in the technique, composition, and colors. Sometimes after a joint and a bottle of prosecco it can get rather mystical…
“Listen to the flow of life” is the name I chose for this piece. It just came to my mind in a moment of complete peace and satisfaction, in a moment when the painting and I, were the same thing, when I realized that the canvas was just an extension of my body and my soul.
Painting is like making the puzzle of myself. The way I organize the pieces and forms to fit them together in the right way, is the same manner in which I make a map of my psyche and my emotions. Just when I’m painting I can see and perceive myself in that particular form.
It is peculiar, but most of the times this feeling of satisfaction comes in the middle of the painting. At the end it is different, at the end a weird suspicion arises, because even a finished piece is still a process of something else, it is one more step towards something that to me, still remains uncertain and unveiled.
Emmy’s Comment about the commission & the artwork:
I like Manuela’s work and I’m a big fan of raw canvases so I gave Manuela a raw linen canvas and allowed her to work in my space during the month of December 2015.
You learn a lot about an artist when they work in your space and I could tell it was not easy for Manuela to tackle a large canvas commission. Many artists find commissions trying which is why I made the parameters simple asking only for an art piece that was happy and free like the smaller pieces that Manuela created at the end of 2015.
After Manuela finished the commission (Which is at the Friday Gallery,) Manuela created a another piece on an A3 piece of wood. The smaller piece was a present for a friend and contained an energy that was interesting and drew you into the piece- An energy missing from the larger artwork. For the smaller piece, Manuela respected the medium and integrated the wood into the art piece allowing her personal artistic style to shine through. With the A3 artwork Manuela was within her comfort zone and free to be creative without letting doubt creep into the equation.
I’m glad I commissioned the larger piece. If you would like to see it, it is at the Friday Gallery.
If you enjoy Manuela’s work, I will have a few more pieces from Manuela to show you in March 2016.