I had the pleasure of watching Alvaro Castagnet demonstrate his watercolor painting process in person at this year’s Plein Air Convention & Expo in Santa Fe (“a burnt sienna city,” according to Alvaro). I jotted down a few of my favorite quotes and observations he made while painting.
“I don’t preserve too many whites at the start because then I become a slave to those high-key values.”
“Art is not prettiness; it’s mood, feeling. If you think art has to be pretty, you’re missing the point.”
“When I look at a painting, I ask, are you giving me a story — a painting I can love for all time — or are you giving me a strawberry cake — something pretty.”
“We need to interpret [not simply record] what we see, that’s how we can call ourselves artists.”
“Filthy water, messy palette — that is Alvaro at his best. I paint dirty.”
Alvaro received a lifetime achievement award at the event for his work in watercolor and plein air painting.
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