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The Universe of Flowers: Painter Vicky Montesinos describes painting flowers as an adventure. To a jaded art world, that may seem difficult to swallow. But look closely at Montesinos’ pulsing, luminous blooms.Allow yourself to slowly peel back layers and layers of techniques. Let your eyes savor the beauty of each brushstroke, textural ripple and daub, the sublime variation of a single hue. Delve into the microcosm of color and texture. “I decided to make flowers my only focus of attention,” says Montesinos from her Manhattan studio. “I really wanted to explore and go inside their world, find all the textures, layers and passages in just one flower.
“They are like small universes. I feel captured in their beauty.” The daughter of Mexican film designer and director, Fernando Rivero, Montesinos was raised in Mexico but educated at a French School, and lived for some time in Argentina and France. Because of her father’s work, Montesinos says that the movie world was one of her first influences. “I grew up surrounded by beauty and fantasy a world where everything seemed to be possible. Maybe that is why my paintings have always had this mixture of reality with some magic element that somehow alters that reality.”
It was in the Mexico City studio of master Spanish painter Jose Bardasano that Montesinos learned the rigorous Veladuras technique of painstakingly building up texture and depth through many fine layers of paint. By introducing marble, sand and stone as textural elements, as well as stenciling techniques, Montesinos creates a subtle topography for her floral universe. Most notable, she is able to achieve a nearly subliminal incandescence through a medieval method of applying gold leaf to the canvas before painting.Because this process is so labor intensive and time consuming, Montesinos will spend two to three weeks absorbed in a single canvas. Even so, due to Montesinos’ disciplined seven-day-a-week, 8 to 10 hour-a-day work schedule, she has been able to produce a significant body of work. Her paintings have toured throughout Europe with those of 20 other Mexican artists. She has participated in a dozen important museum exhibits in Mexico and the U.S. “Flowers are this incredible way for nature to show the infinity of existing colors,” says Montesinos.