Ricardo Maldonado is an incredible painter, who uses nature as inspiration for his art. He enjoys the challenge of painting the outdoors in different season and different times of day. ArtVenue wanted to get to know get to know the artist behind these beautiful paintings!
Home is where the heart is-where is home for you?
I’m originally from Spain so that’s part of my home. But I also have spent many years in the US and that is where my other home is. In fact I have two homes. I’m from the south part of Spain, a place in Malaga, Spain.
How and when did you discover yourself to be an artist?
I studied painting when I was a child, then I stopped, only later I had some more time to start painting. For me it’s more of a hobby than anything else. It’s something I love and is something that makes me feel really relaxed. It’s a wonderful activity. I don’t really consider myself to be a professional artist. I think I’m an amateur artist if you like to call it that and I’m still learning.
What are a few things on your artistic bucket list?
I would like to try more abstract paintings. It’s much harder than one thinks to do abstract. I’m trying to evolve more towards abstraction than realistic. So that is one of the things I would like to do. I would like to create a series of painting of Venice. I just came back from Venice and it is a wonderful place and almost every artist has done something with Venice.
Do you have a favorite “big city” that’s given you the most eye opening and influential artistic moments in your life?
Well, Venice to me was an amazing place because there is art everywhere you look. So that really was quite an experience. But then cities don’t normally inspire me. I think nature to me is more inspiring than cities. More like small villages. I feel more attracted to them.
Where did you learn the skills and gain the knowledge you, as an artist, possess today?
I think I learned by looking at other people who are much better than me. I learn by looking at the masterpieces in museums; Picasso, Matisse, all the impressionist. I mean you learn by just looking at those beautiful paintings. Not that I’m going to replicate any of them, but you realize many things how they are done and how many layers of painting they have.
Where do you gather and/or seek your inspiration from?
Normally from nature and the countryside. To me it’s it very interesting to do the same place; like a river or a forest, in different times of the day, different times of the year, light, rain, sun, all of that. The very same place can look very different depending how you look at it and when you look at it.
Do you have a favorite piece on ArtVenue, whether it’s yours or someone else’s?
There are many good artist on ArtVenue. I haven’t had time to look at them all. My favorite pieces of mine, I don’t have them anymore. They are sold. In some ways it’s sad and some ways it’s nice. To me every piece is important, it’s like a child.
Are there any projects you are working on right now that you can’t wait to finish and share?
Right now I’m painting a large painting about 24” by 40”, something like that. It’s a landscape and there are all trees. It’s not coming out exactly the way I want it. It’s supposed to a be a forest in a dark environment and you can see some light getting through the trees. So the background is dark and there is some light coming out through it.
When you’re in a spell of artistic frenzy, what would a fly on the wall see/hear you doing/saying?
If you come to my place and watch me paint, you notice the music first of all. All kinds of music, like classical or jazz. It depends on my mood. And then you will see all different kinds of paints around, different colors. I have an easel and lots of light. I’m moving around. I might get close to the painting and then move around it. I might change the location of the painting, have more light or less light. It’s an exercise. I stand up, I sit down. I change the music or change the light.
What is some advice you could give to budding artists, hopeful to make a name for themselves or looking to build a portfolio?
First of all, keep painting. I know people who are very good but they don’t do it often and if they did it more often, they would become great. Don’t give up. I always have something hanging. I have an exhibit up at Harvard University. It’s very important to have something somewhere, at least a few paintings. Always something hanging where people can see them. If they are in your basement or attic then nobody looks at them. Keeping looking, keep learning. The internet is a wonderful source. That’s how I found ArtVenue. It would be helpful to have a presence on the internet, if you have your pictures somewhere where people can look at them or leave you comments. I use Flickr most of the time but there are many sites; Facebook and Twitter. You have to have a presence because if people Google your name, they will find something, They will have some place to look at. It’s important, Most of all, have fun.