Irresistibly Unexpected: Meet Fine Artist Luis Peréz
Luis Peréz has a knack for seeing beauty in fleeting moments. Take, for example, “Krilling Me Softly,” shown above. Standing at his sink rinsing shrimp, Luis noticed the setting sun casting a warm glow onto his future dinner. What’s a fine artist to do in such a situation?
Kitchen Sink Inspiration
Luis grabbed his 35mm camera and photographed the crustaceans. As he edited the image in Photoshop, he noticed the arcs in the composition. From the photo, Luis rendered “Krilling Me Softly” in transparent watercolor, which in turn prompted a series of social commentary paintings he titled “Privileged Food.”
Beauty in Imperfection
Luis is equally inspired by the rust and corrosion found in our transient world. You can see this in his “Fitchett Bros” watercolor below. Repeating the process he used to create “Krilling Me Softly,” Luis kept the composition and palette simple as he paid tribute to an old New York dairy and milk delivery company. He framed the piece in Frame Destination’s Wood Frame Profile 874 with UV Non-Glare Acrylic glazing. “The frames have been able to survive heavy handling and transportation,” Luis tells us. “Plus, I like the price.”
See More of Luis’s Work
Visit Luis’s website to discover art in an array of mediums including watercolor, charcoal, color pencil, pastels, and graphite. Many of the galleries on his site have subcategories like animals, people/figures, buildings, and landscapes/stills. (His charcoal figures are striking studies of humans in motion.) To find out which character trait has brought this Baltimore fine artist to “a good place artistically” and the earthy hue he most enjoys working into his art, read my Q&A with Luis below.
Now for Artie’s Eight Q&A with Luis Peréz…
1. What is your background; how did you get started?
I’ve always drawn. I was surrounded by many wonderful artists and musicians as a child in Colombia, South America. While in high school in the USA, I was asked by friends to draw or design their ideas for a van, car, poster, cards, etc. I considered architecture and engineering, but I saw a book of illustrations by [fantasy artist] Boris Vallejo and I was hooked. Fantasy and sci-fi were my favorite themes at the time. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts, I was a bit lost. Through a friend I got a job at a fashion company. Very short deadlines forced me to draw and color quickly. As a stay-home dad, I couldn't really freelance, so I started to teach adults at my local community center. I honed my drawing and painting skills even more. As I witnessed poor-quality watercolor art at local galleries and in publications, I decided to teach all levels of watercolor painting. Five years ago, I was able to start a career as a fine artist, traveling to many states for juried outdoor art festivals. I now tour presenting two mediums: drawing (charcoal and graphite) and transparent watercolor. I am happy to say that I have been winning awards for drawing and watercolor and have been in a few publications as well. While I could not travel during the pandemic, I was able to create new and more challenging works.
2. What role do you think the artist plays in society?
Artists have multiple responsibilities in our society. We are responsible for bringing about social change, spotlighting issues where the message must be clear and very efficient. We remind the world of how beautiful the earth and its people truly are. We create perspective through visual essays. We make the world laugh — or at least smile, encouraging others to reminisce and dream. We reassure the world and bring people closer together.
3. What has been a formative experience or the best advice you’ve received within your career?
Perseverance. Before I did my first outdoor art festival, I was going through a very hard time personally. I believed that I would never have enough “inventory” to display, let alone to sell. Yet moving forward, regardless of the pace, has taken me to a good place artistically. And with each step I grow in so many ways.
4. In what ways does your work reflect your personality?
I am a bit of a traditionalist. You can't run a marathon before you conquer walking. I believe in simple discipline, constant practice, and thinking outside the box. The better you can see, the better you will draw, and eventually paint. It's all about the hard work. I don't want to take what I create for granted. I like to bring to the viewer's attention to social issues that we need to resolve. One way I do this is by rendering animals (at times, endangered species) and title them with quotes that complement the image; I also create still-life paintings with titles that challenge the way we think.
5. Creative blocks, do you get them? If so, how do you overcome them?
I resolve them through doodling, finding inspirational quotes or images, or relaxing by a stream or with a book.
6. What is your most indispensable tool? (Not counting the obvious, like paints, brushes, canvas, camera, etc.)
My sense of humor and my personal sense of social justice. Both keep my mind revved up.
7. Do you have a new project you are working on, or a new passionate idea?
I have a few! Still doing a flamenco series and adding to my “Privileged Food” series in large format. I’m starting a storm cloud series in a large format as well.
8. What is your favorite color to incorporate into your art?
All artwork and/or photographs used in this post are subject to copyright held by the featured artist.
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Last Updated November 22, 2022