Artwork by María Villa
Hello, My name is Maria Villa and I am a Spanish middle age woman that started to paint with Oils five years ago. Although I have started very late, Art has always been a major interest for me. Since I studied Art History at the last year of High School and History at the University, Art became one of my favorite tasks and leisure activities (visiting Art Museums, seeing different Architecture or Archaeological sites worldwide, and of course reading Art Books)
With time, creativity, and specially drawing and painting have developed to be the most important activity for me. It is what I enjoy the most, both for fun and curiosity. There is not a day that I do not draw, paint or read something related with Fine Arts. It would be incredible if finally I could come to be a professional portrait painter.
But for the moment I want to understand as much as possible of Oil painting methods, from the first attempts in Oil Painting, to the most recents ones. The main problem is that despite this real passion for knowledge I haven’t found a place where I can learn this Fine Arts techniques where I live (Madrid).
And nowadays with the Coronavirus crisis, and its harmful effects, the possibilities of going to any course are none. I think painting is helping many of us to stay active, have new challenges, and maybe it will lead to open new paths and posibilities, even more for people that with the actual situation can not work, like me.
I find Portrait the more captivating of all the subjects, and from my point of view, is the one that have more demanding possibilities in order to make a hobby also become a profession.
Oil painting is my favorite medium. I had always like to learn from the beginning. I need to full the gaps. If not, I would not have the confidence of knowing exactly what I am doing, what results I can achieve and if they are suitable for the purpose of the painting.
In my opinion studying the Old Masters is essential for this task. As far as I Know, precisely the arrival of the Oil Painting Medium enabled to paint the human flesh in the more realistic way, never seen before (grisaille and glazes of Primitive Flemish Masters of 15th century) With the ages, other contributions were made (sfumato of LEONARDO DA VINCI in 15th and 16th centuries, scumbling and impasto of TITIAN in the 16th, which was carried to their greatest expressions in REMBRANDT Works in the Baroque period and chiaroscuro style… What I find amazing is how despite all this different techniques and ways of painting, the resulting portraits can be so realistic.
After this, I find it would be very interesting to learn how to paint in “Alla prima” and in the Impressionist and Postimpressionist way of Direct Method, and so on.
As a consequence I estimate that tasks like Human Anatomy, expressions of the face and of the body, and also to achieve dynamic and credible compositions with human figure are essential; as it is also depicting realistic skin texture and appearance with color. For all of these I suppose that a student must learn a lot of subject matters and different practice techniques which without a teacher or a structured course are imposible to master.
Other aspects I have problems with are the use of mediums, different oils, and other materials… For example I don’t think my glazes are done in the correct way. I have the impression that sometimes they are very oily and leave a very brilliant surface while others it has not shine at all.
Other lack, maybe more subjective, is how to know when a paint is finished. I waste a lot of time in the last phases of a paint, maybe because I don’t control the tehniques an therefore I depende so much of the “happy accidents”. As a result I have a lot of projects yet started that I don’t know very well how to finish.
And to finish with the things I would like to learn practice my own imagination in order to increase my creativity. I have to recognize that I am vey dependent of photographs and reality.
So the course of Old Master’s Academy Course (OMA) will be a great opportunity for me. My first contact with all the courses of Natalie RICHIE and Vladimir LONDON, and particularly with the OMA was casual, about a year ago, and from the beginning, I found it very interesting. All the introduction and bonuses videos, PDF files and digital books are super useful. I made some notes with it, which have inspired me to start investigating about Old Masters techniques and practice. In addition, the e-mail feedback and critique is something that makes possible to stay in contact with proper Art practice and, which I found extremely helpful for a self taught person like many of us.
It also provides the possibility to enter in contact with a huge community of creative people, with similar interests, which can enrich and encourage many of us to keep going in this difficult field.
So I find irreplaceable have the solid foundation of the contents, knowledge, advice, correction and encouragement from brilliant artist like Natalie RICHIE and Vladimir LONDON.
As an amateur, my painting needs a lot of improvement to make more realistic and appealing works. In my point of view, the OMA offers the advantages of being a flexible method, with the total certainty that you can place your reliance at, and without having to loose a lot of time searching this qualified information, that unfortunately (maybe I am wrong but it is what I achieve right now) is mostly related with Restoration occupation. And at last, and what is fascinating: all the people that followed a course has made a great progress.
In addition It will also be extremely useful for a personal enrichment. For example our vision when visiting Art museums could wider. I think that with the OMA course we all could appreciate not only all the beauty of paintings or its historical context and meaning in Art History, but also the way they were made, the value of the innovations and the ability of the Old Master’s. As a mere example I always love the paint The Virgin and Child, with saints Dorothy and George of TITIAN at the Prado Museum, specially the colorful blue lapislázuli and carmine or crimson draperies of the Virgin. I always wanted to know how he achieved this vibrancy of color. Even with our modern pigments and facilities, I still don’t know how to obtain this richness.
So as much as I learn, as much I get fascinated not only by the knowledge, but also by the ability of The Old Masters. It is incredible to see what some people along the times could achieve.
I don t know exactly why people should vote for me. Maybe for my truth interest. I hope at least some of them would like what I have done, and want to see more future works, improved with the huge opportunity that in my case, only OMA and his tutors, Natalie RICHIE and Vladimir LONDON can provided.
Thank you for your attention and for reading all the text and sorry for my English. It needs some improvement too.