May 19, 2014
In the Garden with Miami-based artist Ileana Collazo
During our recent interview with Miami-based artist Ileana Collazo, she told us about her love for art and her Grandmother’s garden that inspired her heart to capture the beauty and magic around her. Collazo is profoundly inspired by the astounding beauty of Mother Nature, which is her muse – the colors, textures and movement all come together allowing the artist to create her ever-changing masterpieces. Her Night Gardens Collection was digitally exhibited throughout New York City in October 2o13 during Creatives Rising, Art Takes New York – a series of seductive floral paintings bursting with abstract shapes and colors. Collazo also won the 7th & 8th ArtSlant Showdown Competitions.
Q – How long have you been an artist and how did you get started?
A – Five years, I am a poet. One night I was at one of the FIU studios, where my husband was taking a paintingclass, and I insisted that itis easier to paint than to write; he handed me a canvas the size of a door, some brushes and tubes of oil paint, and challenged me to test my theory. I did, and it is not.
Q – Which medium do you prefer to use and why?
A – I prefer acrylics, especially liquid acrylics, because I am a watercolorist at heart, even though I have never used the medium.
Q – What do you believe is the key element in creating a good composition?
A – Shapes and movement; I believe a good painting captivates the viewers, beckoning them to travel through the surface again and again, reluctant to walk away.
Q – How has your style changed over the years?
A – After that first oil painting, I worked a lot with pastels, then did quite a few pencil drawings, worked with markers, and also did entire pieces with white-out pens. But, it was when my husband introduced me to liquid acrylics, and I started to paint on PBC board, Yupo paper, Mylar, very smooth canvases, and rice paper, that my work developed and matured.
Q – What is your creative process like?
A – I take out my paints and brushes, choose my surface, and start applying paint in an area of the surface; as I create the first flower or shape, the work grows organically until at some point I come to the realization that it is done.
Q – What is the best part about being an artist?
A – Being capable of creating something beautiful or alluring that comes from deep within me that other people also find beautiful or alluring. But, art does not always have to be beautiful, but it should always be meaningful; whether it dazzles with color, makes a political statement, or boggles the mind.
Q – What is your earliest memory of creating art?
A – As a child I used to create geometric forms, but I would have never have fathomed myself to be a painter; since age 5 I called myself a writer.
Q – Where does your inspiration come from?
A – It originated in my grandmother’s garden, where I would go to hide from my friends and take in the beauty that nature gifted me with each time I visited it.