December Featured Artist
To round out 2015, Sacramento365 decided to get introspective with the vibrant mixed media artist, Priscilla Ameneyro. Expressive, minimalist, and wonderfully organic, Ameneyro’s artwork is born from letting go: her action paintings are uninhibited, taking viewers on a journey “where creativity is endless”; while her works on paper explore the boundaries of organic shapes and arrangements.
Find out more about the brilliant British expat’s creative mind below.
1. Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?
As a child I liked to draw pictures of my hands over and over again, capturing all the details of my nails and the lines on my palms. It wasn’t until college that I started painting.
One of my roommates was painting a flower on a canvas one day and she said I could borrow her paint and brushes. I started by painting landscapes from photographs. As I developed my skills I had an artist from my hometown mentor me. In 2012, I started to feel frustrated in my job because all I wanted to do was work on my art. I dedicated myself to my craft full time for a year, which was the first big step in my career as an artist.
2. You have mentioned that the poetry of William Blake has inspired you to create. What about his words have motivated you to become an artist?
In “Songs of Innocence and of Experience“, Blake laments the loss of uninhibited play and creativity as one moves from childhood into adulthood. It is harder to learn new things as you get older and most of that is because of fear. We are afraid of failure and what others might think about us. Children don’t have that.
The creative process involves a lot of failure; as an artist, you have to be comfortable with that to come out successful on the other side. Blake’s work reminds me to take risks and to get back to that childhood state where creativity is endless.
3. Your creative process involves action painting. Could you describe this process in greater detail to our readers?
The most famous action painter has to be Jackson Pollock. Action painting is the process of applying paint gesturally. There is an element of ambiguity that you have to be at ease with to enjoy action painting. When I am using this technique, I may go into a painting with no planning. I do what feels right in the moment, using my knowledge of color and composition as I watch it unfold in front of me.
The artist in her studio.
4. Fill in the Blank: Being creative means ______________.
…constantly evolving. Creative people have a drive to keep making something new. There might be periods of time when you feel less motivated or you aren’t as productive, but something always comes along to inspire you and spark a new chapter.
5. What is the most challenging part about making mixed media art?
Mixed media art is a lot of fun because I can cut up some old blue jeans and twist and pin them to a canvas to make them look like flowers. On the other hand, mixed media art is challenging because there are so many options.
Instead of just using oil paint, for example, there is an entire supply of art tools and mediums at my disposal; I have to be selective. It can take some time and experimentation to learn what you can use together and what you can’t.
6. What do you want people to take away from your work?
I read an interesting article recently about the healing power of art and nature. When we see something awe-inspiring it boosts the immune system. I am not saying that my art has any kind of magical healing powers, but I do know the indescribable feeling I get from looking at great art. It is a physical reaction. I hope that my art has that effect on people. I want my art to make you stop, be there in that moment and just look.
7. Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
I really want to try glass-blowing! I enjoy challenging myself and trying new mediums. I have created artwork using ink, watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, graphite, mixed media and new media on all kinds of surfaces.
“Silence Under A Microscope.”
8. You were born and raised in England but have lived in the Sacramento region for quite some time now. Which aspects of American culture still perplex you?
Some people have a negative attitude towards their own country. They think that as a European, I would share that same attitude. I get asked why I would come to Sacramento when I could live in England. I think Sacramento is a great place to live!
Generally, American hospitality and positivity are unmatched. I really want to travel to other states in the US. I know there is so much more for me to see and experience in this wonderful country.
9. Name three of your guiltiest pleasures.
Definitely chocolate, wine, and romantic comedies.
10. What’s your personal/professional outlook for 2016?
I am very excited for 2016. I spent a lot of time in my studio this year developing a new style. I have been making digital art using an amazing app called Procreate. I will be showing work outside of Northern California in 2016, that’s for sure.
Keep Up With Priscilla:
Interview by Sacramento365’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.