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A visit to Monica Castanys studio
How would you define your work?
It is difficult to define one’s own work, but from a pictorial point of view we could say I do contemporary figurative painting using a colour palette that reminds that of the Impressionists with particularly expressive brushstrokes. Yet, I do not think I fit within any particular trend: when I paint I try to surprise myself. At the same time, anything I learn from one of my works I try to apply to the following.
Could you tell us about your creative process?
It always starts with an impulse to observe, to try to capture an atmosphere; it is like a need to give expression to a situation I have lived and, from that situation, to try to suggest a story. Usually, in the first place I collect photographic material and sketches. After that, in the studio, I choose some of the images and I paint on them, remarking what I am most interested about: the light, the pose of a figure, a specific composition… It is also perhaps significant that I always listen to music during the creative process.
"It always starts with an impulse to observe, to try to capture an atmosphere; it is like a need to give expression to a situation I have lived and, from that situation, to try to suggest a story"
How has your work evolved throughout the years?
I think I am becoming more reflexive. Before, almost everything, from the first to the last splatter, but now I take much longer to think about creation. Even if the feminine figure continues being an important motive in my paintings, I see I am getting more and more interested in narrating intimate states in my works. From the technical point of view, I have always painted in oil, but I have evolved on that aspect; little by little I try to be freer and less explicit.