Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pablo Villicaña Lara

Morning Offering, 18" x 24"

Although he was raised in both Mexican and American cultures, most of Pablo Villicaña Lara's paintings reflect his Mexican Native heritage. Depicting handmade objects such as pottery, baskets, blankets, and musical instruments in combination with flowers and other cultural objects, he creates paintings that speak of the heart of his people and the culture they are trying to preserve. With bold color and dramatic lighting, his paintings evoke a sense of ancient history and tradition, much like the stories passed down orally from generation to generation.

Artesenias Mexicanas, 18" x 24"

Speaking of his attraction to watercolor, Pablo observes, "I love everything about watercolor -- it's inherent luminous qualities, the vibrant colors, the beautiful granulating flowing textures -- though it took me several years to summon the courage to face the challenges I had heard about and it proved to be true for a few years before I discovered that there's absolutely nothing you cannot do with watercolors from the most expressionistic style to the most real and even hyper-realism. I think I fall somewhere in between: I love creating images that look real and have a presence, a sense of light, but also have hints of flowing washes and spatters."

Story Teller, 19" x 30"

Pablo was born in a small village thirty miles south of the California/Mexico border. He came to the U.S. when he was five to receive medical attention for the polio he had contracted at age two. Although he had always intended to return to Mexico, he was so far along in school by the time the medical treatments were completed that he decided to stay and finish school. He has an MFA in drawing from the California College of the Arts (formerly the California College of Arts and Crafts) and has won numerous awards for work exhibited in watercolor shows throughout the U.S. Most recently, he was invited to become a member of the International Guild of Realism and was the only watercolorist accepted into their annual exhibitions for the past two years.

Yellow Hammer, 16" x 12"

Mi Rebozo, 20" x 14"

Go to Pablo's blog to see more of his work.