Throughout my life I have found that art not only defines me as a person, it has also become a pathway to expressing and communicating my innermost feelings.
Since childhood, art was extremely compelling to me, as a teenager, it became an obsessive and passionate hobby, where I started experimenting with a great variety of materials. At 24 I enrolled at The Art Students League in Manhattan, where I became fully immersed in my work and embraced art as my true life form.
Nature has been a constant driving factor in the majority of my artwork, mainly mixing colors and textures perceived by my senses. My inspiration comes from Mother Earth, and her ability to communicate beauty in the most mundane moments. Every art piece always has a different story to tell, the magic of abstract art, my art, lies in perceiving countless and limitless stories. For every glance a feeling, for every feeling a new interpretation.
When did you begin painting and how did you get started? What did you want to become when you were a child?
Andrea: I started painting at a very young age. When I was 6 years old, my parents signed me up for arts and crafts classes. A few years later I became obsessed with oil, immersing myself in 7 years of painting classes. Here I learned how to mold each material to suit my inspiration, how to draw with charcoal, watercolors, acrylics, etc. When I was a child I always wanted to become an artist, but I also had a passion for numbers and math.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Andrea: As I said before, I work with different types of oils. What really defines my art is the add-on textures. Mixed media textures react as I paint over it and that’s my favorite part of the art process. As my professor once said, ¨I feel that you and the canvas are engaged in a conversation.¨Almost all my artwork is abstract. Sometimes I add an accent of reality. Always inspired by Mother Nature.
What is the most challenging part of being a mixed media artist?
Andrea: I guess the challenging part would be if the media cracks during the process, also it can make the paint change the color I envisioned.
What is the process from start to final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process?
First I always find my inspiration in either a landscape photograph or a particular spot in nature. Here I try to replicate the color palettes that I absorb. That’s the only mental planning I do.
I start out by scattering all the textures around the canvas. Once it dries up, I move up to the brushstrokes. I’ve never made a draft nor a sketch. It’s curious because I always end up panting something opposite of what I had in mind.
Do you ever experience creative blocks? And if yes, how do you overcome it?
Andrea: I believe creative blocks are a part of every artist’s process, in my case the blocks are specifically linked to my feelings. Sometimes to find new color combinations, I need to immerse myself more in nature. Inspiration always has a way of finding it’s way back.
What is your most recent piece of art that you have enjoyed working on the most?
Andrea: “En fila a paso corto” which is Spanish for “Small Steps in a Straight Line” is the name of the artwork.
The color palette I used for this piece is my favorite combination and the one I can most relate to. It is an Elephant Family painting, an animal that has always provided me with tranquility.
Do you have a real-life situation that inspired your artwork? If yes, what was it?
Andrea: Everything, landscapes I have visited, my relationships even art from different centuries. (Viewings of Impressionist Paintings are the experiences that have most inspired me.)
You say Mother Earth is the inspiration for your work. Can you tell us where did that comes from, and what is the message you are trying to give with your art?
Andrea: I grew up in Mexico City, one of the busiest cities in the world, I consider myself a sensitive woman and in Nature, I have found peace and comfort. A refuge where I can hear my own thoughts, and its so simple yet more perfect than any structure made by man.
The message I’m trying to transmit is the same refuge and peace I find in nature. When people look at my art, I want them to escape from their hectic lives, if only for a brief moment.
What artists influenced you the most and why?
Andrea: Vincent Van Gogh. He’s my favorite of all times. I love everything about his work, the chunks of paint, the way the colors mix on the canvas, the history behind them, etc.
But I think Mexican artists, from Oaxaca, are my biggest influence. Rolando Rojas is my role model.
How has your art evolved over the years?
Andrea: I’ve learned better techniques and I’ve added more realism to my abstract art.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Facebook: Andrea Kalb’s art
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about (or canceled due to the Covid-19 situation)?
Andrea: No, I’ll keep you posted on my annual show.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Andrea: Yes, I eventually want to make a collaboration with nature photographers, and raise awareness to help animal species that are in danger of extinction.