Her creative process incorporates the material qualities of the pigment, as well as those of the support itself. Maya exposes these elements (pigment and canvas) to uncontrollable factors such as humidity – when the canvas is drenched before painting – and time, which determines when the canvas dries and the painting is thus finished. Therefore, her work is a conscious dual exercise where the projection of a sensation meets the contingency dictated by other material and arbitrary forces, the intention of an image and its result imbued with chance.
What’s your inspiration? What is your process of creating a composition?
Hey! Thank you for inviting for an interview to your lovely magazine. My biggest source of inspiration is nature I would say, its shapes, textures and most of all, colours are an infinite source for composing pictures to me. Also some other artists, like Miró, Yayoi Kusama or Helen Frankenthaler, but also Veláquez and Van der Weyden for their amazing use of colour. About my process: Many times, When I arrive at my studio I have certain colours in mind for that day, but nothing else. I lay the canvases flat on the ground, soak them in water, and the countdown begins. The canvases dry at different speeds, depending on the month and time of day. They usually take a few hours. Once dry, they no longer welcome the paint in the same way: it is the humidity of the canvas that offers surprise, branches out the brushstrokes, blurs the colours, amplifies the stains and explodes the pigments. I have found a method that radically incorporates the will of the support itself: it is its reaction to the water and the temperature that irreversibly marks the work’s deadlines and its final result. I paint as a form of meditation; through colours, stains and the balance between them, I try to capture my emotional state in the immediate present and I sort of freeze it in time. A translation of emotion into form that can only take place in that state of alertness and perceptive lucidity rooted in the here and now. In turn, at times, there is a subtle and unconscious exercise of remembrance in the work: sometimes the paintings are linked to a somewhat precise memory or sensation that I retrieve from past experiences of mine. Each work thus encapsulates a certain emotional landscape.
Can you describe your typical working day?
They all vary, as Im such a big fan of improvisation… I don’t plan my days enormously. But I usually wake up and have a chilled breakfast, reading mails, or messages and then I go to my studio in my moto. I do little things like tiding up, swiping the floor (which I find very relaxing). And then I cut some pieces of fabric and start painting! Depends on the day im either very inspired and I can go on for hours, or the thing is not really flowing and I have to move on to other tasks like computer stuff or going to see an exhibition. It depends.
What does your work aim to say?
I dont aim to say anything! I do it because it helps me focus my attention on something, and forget about the rest of the world for a bit. As if it was some kind of meditation. And I hope people can feel that when they see my paintings, and get a little of that from them.
How does your atelier look like?
I am not gonna lie: its a really messy cave in the heart of Madrid. But very fresh!
How do you know or decide when an artwork is finished?
When, with the least amount of elements, the composition feels balanced and complete, without seeming boring to me.
How do you spend your free time?
I love to be in nature as much as I can, in the future I would like to just move. But watching a sunset, or looking at the sky, trees and plants gives me the most pleasure. I also love playing music and watching movies. Im quite a cozy person.
What are you working on right now? Is there an exhibition planned?
Yes! Im working on a series inspired in my recent trip to Iceland. The colours and landscapes left me so shocked. I will exhibit it at Palau de Casavells in Cataluña for the whole summer. Its based on my visual and sensorial memories of the Icelandic glaciers. Large blue blocks, the wind that bypasses them and the extreme cold reappear months later, channelled into strong pigments and stains. Hope you have a chance to visit it.
Violeta Maya – www.instagram.com/violetamaya_