I’m Lorenza Valle. I was born in 1988, I’m 33 and I live in a little and colored flat in northern Italy.
I love drawing since I was a child. During the childhood, I’ve passed a lot of my free time trying to reproduce the characters of the comics.
I studied art at the high school and at the Venice University. There I had the opportunity to know and experiment with the different artistic techniques.
Just later I find my real inclination. The canvas became the place where I can transfer emotions and tensions. I started a new project named Lady with the yellow hat, a series of paintings in which the two different aptitudes could meet: sovrapositions of color spots and identification of figures that are already on the canvas.
Hello Lorenza! You say you draw since you were a child. Tell me more about that period, and how it all started for you in the world of art.
Lorenza: Initially I just copied! When I was a child I drew a lot, I tried to reproduce comic characters. In high school, I experimented with different techniques (oil painting, acrylics, watercolors etc.) and I created presents for my family or friends; portraits or copies of famous artists like Magritte, Raffaello, Zurbaran etc. I was punctilious: the color had to be the same, the proportions too, the line defined.
After my graduation, something changed, and I went a long time without touching a brush. I had no patience, I wasn’t inspired and so I just stopped painting. When I started again, my style was completely different. Precision just left the place to gestures and emotions.
Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter etc.
Lorenza: I used to paint with oil colors while I was in art school. Oils permitted me to reach different nuances, that was important for me at the time. But now, I paint using acrylics on canvas. I turned to using acrylics due to their versatility, as these colors are more impressive, fast dry and they allow me to create visible overlapping of colors.
Could you walk us through your process? How much planning do you do before you jump into a painting? If you do, what are you trying to solve at each stage of it?
Lorenza: Well, I’m not able to plan when I am going to paint, I’m often influenced by the circumstances. I feel the urge to express on canvas the feelings of the exact moment I am living, leaving me with the urgency to finish the painting as soon as I can. If not, I pass a lot of my time thinking about what I could change or how to complete the canvas. It’s like when you read a crime book and you are so close to discovering who is the assassin and you can’t put the book down.
What artists of the past or present have inspired you?
Lorenza: There isn’t an artist in particular that inspires me. I feel more comfortable with contemporary art. I look at impressionism and expressionism in which colors, impressions, and emotions are preponderant.
I love the artworks where you can see the crumbling of colors and images, the ones where the artist just inkles at the existence of figures, landscape, cities, etc. For example, I love the urban scenes of the Libyan artist Kal Gajoum.
Tell me more about your series “Lady with the yellow hat”. What was the inspiration behind it?
Lorenza: As I said before, there was a precise moment after I graduated from art school, that sign the start of this series “Lady with the yellow hat”.
I just returned to my parent home after a work period in Spain. I was annoyed because I wasn’t able to find a job after my graduation despite the fact I tried to be flexible and open to different kinds of opportunities.
The way I found to escape from the reality of the moment was through painting. I just chose the colors and then I put all my frustration on canvas. The result of that was “Solitude”, in which for the first time appears the Lady with the yellow hat.
You say canvas is the place where you can transfer emotions and tensions. Is there a message you are trying to send with each piece, or is it something else?
Lorenza: There are no secret messages behind the paintings, there is no symbolism. It’s something more linked with the emotions I feel during the creative act.
When I was a student I have been looking for realism, the accuracy of details, clear shapes, and lines. After graduation, I felt disoriented and I found the canvas to be my way to shout out.
Gestures and colors became a way to express frustration, the sense of peace, or the desire for freedom.
What are some of the tools you use to create a distinct style of artwork?
Lorenza: I love the overlapping of colors so I started to use palette knives and acrylics. This technique allows me to create distinct layers. For many years I used oil colors as my purpose was the overlapping touch of colors to obtain different nuances.
What are some of the stories behind your work?
Lorenza: “Blue Dream” was inspired by Garda Lake, a peaceful location in northern Italy. Water reflections, flowers, and sunset flow into a dream. I desired to confuse the levels in a surreal coexistence of reality and imagination. In the painting, there’s a woman who’s looking at her face reflected in a little waterfall. Once, a couple gave me their different perception: they could see a woman but she wasn’t admiring her reflection. The lady they saw had her head bend down while she is combing her hair. They influenced my perception so, now, I can’t see the same image I’ve painted.
What’s the coolest art tip you’ve ever received?
Lorenza: I think the most important tip I received was criticism! About 10 years ago during an exhibition, a guy told me that he did not feel anything by staying in front of my paintings. He thought that the paintings were technically perfect but they appeared… empty. The faithful representation couldn’t compensate for the absence of feelings. There was just one painting he loved, absurdly that one was a copy (a detail of “S. Francisco” by Zurbaran).
I understood what he meant with his words, but finding the correct way to create my paintings wasn’t so simple not even immediate.
What is the most recent piece you’ve enjoyed working on the most and why?
Lorenza: I can’t choose one. I work on one painting at a time. If I don’t like the result, I leave it and start with something different. Sometimes I’m able to return to the same painting to finish it while other times there’s no way to end it and I completely change the theme. I’m really absorbed by each of the paintings that I realize, so I can say I enjoyed working on all of them.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Lorenza: Well, it’s not going to change a lot. I work in a little and beautiful Italian theatre, at work, I try to be very attentive to details, and so it’s in my life. I love my job, my colleagues, and I like the thousands of input the theatre gives me. On the other side, there is the painter. When I paint, the precision and the attention to the details disappear. On canvas, I don’t look for rigor but exactly the opposite: movement, colors, and imperfections. There are two different parts of me that will continue to coexist.