Not long ago, my dear friend Jean sent me a picture of an unusual hibiscus…
Perhaps because of my scientific background and my lack of formal training as an artist, I have taken many risks and explored new techniques in my work. My textural surfaces are built with paint; many layers of paint built up one over the other. I don’t use modeling paste or other fillers, just paint, straight from the containers, mixed right on the canvas. It’s a physical process. I apply paint in various, sometimes unusual, ways: pouring, splashing, dripping, scratching, and so on… until I get what I am after.
The steps I go through are unpremeditated and unplanned. I begin by using different colors to fill the canvas in a rather emotional way. I might apply two or three layers this way, and then as shapes and forms emerge, a direction becomes apparent. Then, I have to think hard about what I want from the painting. I become immersed in the painting to meet the challenges it presents to me at this point. Sometimes, this internal struggle takes more time than what I spend on the actual application of paint to the canvas. When I go back to the painting with definite ideas and direction, it may take several more layers to achieve my aims. Thus, my work is guided through its material operations by intuitive processing of my moods, feelings, and flights of fancy.
I strive to produce paintings that exhibit the powerful emotions embodied in the process. That is much more important to me than making images that are necessarily pleasing or objectively beautiful. An image arrived at through such a slow, deliberative set of processes appears fresh and immediate by maintaining spontaneity at every turn. The destination is unknown until I finally get there.
The title of each painting ideally hints at both its physical appearance and the poetic ambiguity of the long journey that brings it into being. A title should attach a painting to the world beyond its appearance, the world that claims a voice that speaks to the viewer of its unseen message. A fellow artist and friend, Adam Narcross, once said, “Eduardo’s paintings are far from mute. All you have to do is listen, and the whisper you hear is the music that comes from the hand of one of the gentlest souls to grace canvas with the loving caress of a brush or palette knife.”
You can see more of Eduardo Lapetina’s work at his website, or at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, where he is participating in a show “Flights of Fancy” from March 24- April 20th. The opening reception is Friday, March 28th, from 6 – 9 pm. Eduardo’s work can also be viewed at the Chapel Hill Art Gallery and the Destination Gallery in Virginia. He also plans to participate in OCAG’s Spring Tour in April of this year.