Q & A with Graça Paz

Graça Paz is an artist based in Portugal. We've been following her online for several years now and recently we've been inspired by her new work, especially her  Bach and Meditation series. A set of abstract graphics that pop with vivid colours.  All of her work is inspiring though, from knitting to poetry.  We invited her for a little Q&A, here's our conversation.

Q. Where did you both train or study or how did your career as an artist begin? And did you always know you wanted to paint?

A. The beginning of my study in art was at Cooperativa Árvore in Oporto, but I stopped halfway and went to study fashion design. I was 17 years old, and still with many teenager doubts as to the course to follow in my artistic life.

Although art was an integral part of my personality, as I said at the beginning with doubts. I walked a long way, painting furniture, and giving art classes to kids and watercolor art classes to adults, but I always painted, however, finding the way to what I knew what I wanted to do.

Painting alone and full time, started late in my life and when it started was objective and focused, I already had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was like finding my soul food.

          Study on empathy

Q. We love all the colourful graphic abstract art you are sharing on your Instagram account - tell us about your Bach and Meditation series. How did it all begin?

A. It began with the sweetest memory of my childhood. My dad used to work with classical music and had a vinyl shop were I went to help him many times, and I remember the days when he came home late and closed himself to his zen moment and flooded our nights with chopin, Bach and Ravel.

When I started painting, first figurative, my search was always on abstracts, like a first love, something that we do not understand why we do it, but I was already on the way only I still do not know it at the time.

When I began the abstracts, I immediately perceived the intellectual demand that my choice brought me. There was behind the chosen forms a deep sense of being, and the next step was to discover, why ??? I was painting geometrics, and what was behind that inner message.

That was when Bach came and gave meaning to my work. He brought me back the memories of my father's music, and that was the leap to interpret my favorite compositions on canvas like a golden hand that was given to me by fate, as in a dialogue between me and the composer or interpreter, because we all tend to have our favorites. It has become an exchange of emotions, because art is that. Emotion

The meditation series came as a pause, a meditation, which coincided with my beginning in the world of yoga.

Painting is energetically demanding for me, not always light, sometimes drains me and I need a pause. The meditation series are that. A pause that is not a cut, but a sort of emotional velvet in painting between one canvas and another. Between one dialogue and another…

   Meditation Series

Q. Let's talk about your tools a bit. We noticed you paint on fabric or is that canvas? Do you mind explaining your process or the progression of? And how long does it take you to create one of your larger pieces.

A. I paint acrylic on canvas, without being crated, because I paint on the wall, to get the definition I need. I usually have two screens facing each other, although I do not paint the two simultaneously. Sometimes I need to stop one, and move away from it, and then come back with new answers and in that moment I turn to the other side, or to paper work, or watercolor. The screens talk to us, usually in our head are one thing, and then when come to life have their own will and I respect that talk between us. Sometimes I also take advantage of the error, because he has taught me new ways in life and I want to transpose my experience to the screen and the observer who often identifies himself.

At first I was frustrated when I could not do exactly what I wanted, but then I realized that over time I learned that there is a force that is greater than ourselves, that has its own expression and that challenges us to get out of the way of ourselves. In the end is about maturity...

I paint fast because I know what I want and I learned the great art of discipline to the point of not listening to the TLM while I paint, to keep the focus. Usually it takes me one month to paint a large canvas, to three, it depends.

Q. What artists/designers/makers/ architects, etc do you look up to, are influenced by or inspire you?

A. At the moment with older painters, Camen Herrera, Mary Heilmman, Ethel Adnan, Agnes Martin, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth kelly, Rauschenberg, Bach, Ravel, Helene Grimaud, Ana Fedarova, Yo-Yo-Ma, Itzack Pearlman, and Glenn Gould, Bernardo Sassetti. In architecture and love the modernists, it was for me the most beautiful and human era. In Portugal I recently fall in love with the work of Viana de Lima and Fernando Távora. Le Courbusier, Barragan, Charles and Ray Eames...impossible to name it all.

Q. We noticed you listen to classical music when you paint, what else inspires you to create?

A. I like to study and write, and these are parallel and inescapable arts in my life, so recently I am doing a work on Shantideva's Bodhisattva poems, and curiously the force that makes our lives lighter with these teachings has made me change my usual color palette without initially having noticed it.

         Iche habe genug. Bach interpretation

6. What's happening for you in the near future, any exhibits, shows coming up? Any sneak peeks of new works?

Since I consider myself a networker, and this particularity is an added value to my work because it allows me to bring to the audience in the way that I want what I do, and to manage my company, my focus has always been very turned out of Portugal and so, I work with the Saatchi art page. There will be changes, and every goal that I have created over the last few years, will now bring changes yes, but let's take a look at them later. As for news, I am at this moment working again with a material that is part of my foundations and which I love, the cardboard and I want to make wall sculptures. I already have the first one ready to be published soon.

Visit Graça Paz around the web:


And check out more of her work below.


          Meditation series on Bach

She also knits! Love this quilt and wall hangings she made for her son's room.

Jan Halvarson


K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paulo Duque said...

Fantástico *