Painting the Mystical Colors of Nature
Alicia is impressed with the light and colors of the deserts and red rocks of Sedona or the high deserts when spring is in full bloom. The brilliance of the blue skies, the reds and golds of the rock and mountain formations, the drama of the summer clouds, all inspired her in her artwork. In her landscapes she captures the hidden mystical colors and beauty of the varied nature scenes from the low deserts to the mountain’s and high desert views of Arizona.
Alicia was born in a small farming community near Lubbock, Texas. Raised on farms in Texas and California and finally a farm in Arizona she developed a love of nature and growing things… not that she grows anything now, but the colors of a field of wheat, the rolling hills of a countryside were destined to contribute to the artistic style she presently loves. As an adult she lived in California, Florida, and New Orleans, Colorado and eventually settled in the Phoenix, Arizona area where her family resides.
Alicia was a quiet child, who loved to read. When she attended the first grade she discovered a new world… an imaginary world in which she could be transported into new and different realities. In the first grade, she once secretly took home a book that was to be read later in the year. She read it completely before returning it back to school. When not helping with family chores she could be found with her nose in a book.
Her mother was, in her own way, a creative woman. Alicia watched her create dress patterns from newspapers and build wood toys for her and her siblings from a design she made herself. She feels she inherited her creative genes and love of creating something from ordinary objects into something wonderful from her mother.
The first time she realized she loved art was when a teacher in the 4th grade had a contest to create an art cover for a paper they were required to write. After a second assignment, her cover was selected as the best in the class. That’s when she knew she loved art. She had paper dolls as a young girl and would design clothing for them. At age 13 her goal was to be a fashion designer. However, there were no opportunities available for her to receive art training. As she became an adult, married and had two children her desire to paint never diminished. She collected photos of paintings she liked from home decorating magazines and studied them carefully. She believes this helped her develop her intuitive sense of color, design and later helped her become successful when she finally was able to attend formal art school training.
At age 30 Alicia found herself single, and living in New Orleans. She was fortunate to be in a relationship where she had time and resources to attend the John McCrady Art School located in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The McCrady school instructors included Alan Flattman who in now a well-known pastel artist in New Orleans. The instructors at this school taught her oil painting, and watercolors, drawing and sketching. New Orleans is rich in places to draw and paint. The Friday afternoon field sketch trips are still remembered as her favorite part of the classes. For each of the two years she attended she was selected Artist of the Year. She sold her first painting in one of the student art shows. It is unfortunate that the McCrady Art School is no longer there but the training and influence has remained a vital part of Alicia’s memory and influence on her art.
After attending the McCrady Art School Alicia had a period of time in which she entered the work force to make a living for herself. She painted on occasion and practiced her watercolor techniques for a number of years before finally finding a style she loved. She also painted in oils. She took classes from a number of artists whose names she has lost in memory. After retirement age, she had more time to spend on training and also learned of her love of teaching art.
Acrylics slowing became accepted as a viable art medium. After years of painting in oils and watercolors she tried acrylics and was hooked. The colors were so bright and of course, dried quickly allowing her to paint more and more and more paintings. For a number of years her paintings were more realistic in style. The day came when she wanted to expand into new directions and paint more intuitively and abstractly. She took workshops from Carol Nelson and Joan Fullerton to develop a new style in abstracts and to paint from the heart. It was exciting to use collage elements and to develop a more intuitive free style of painting. So for a few years she concentrated on abstract paintings in both watercolor and acrylics.
Having painting in styles both realistic and abstract, Alicia decided she needed to focus on a style. She wanted one that could incorporated the real and the abstract. Living in the Arizona deserts and high country deserts offered a variety of subject matter that had grown from her love of nature, and being outdoors in the cool pines of eastern Arizona. Arizona’s nature offered her the inspiration. A combination of painting bright colors, using acrylic mediums and collage elements for texture began the development of the style she now offers and loves.
Nature offers so much that can be translated into vivid alive colors and scenes. While the rocks may look grey, black or brown, she sees purple, burnt sienna, yellow ochre and paints them as the mystic nature they are in her artistic mind’s eye. She also loves to paint the mystical essence of a bouquet of flowers.
Alicia works from her home studio located in what used to be an unused workshop. Seeing a need for larger space and that the woodworking workshop was being used as storage gave her the idea that it could be put to better use. So with her husband’s help and encouragement her new studio became a reality.
Alicia is a long time member of the Mesa Art League and recently a member of the Sonoran Art League of Carefree, AZ. She has entered a number of art shows offered by each group and received Best of Show in a show held at the Scottsdale Art School. She recently receive Honorable Mention for a painted in the Mesa Art Leagues’ Gammage Theater show.
Alicia teaches art in a local community and holds an annual art show for her students. An outside judge gives awards to the teachers as well as the students. She has receive a number of 1st place and best of show awards. Alicia continues to be an avid reader, she loves teaching art and also makes wire wrap jewelry.
Recently a friend from California saw her paintings on her Facebook and while on a visit to Arizona said to her, “I can totally see the beauty of the desert in your work.”
As a long time Arizona resident, Alicia enjoys the every changing colors of the high country desert. Mountains, trees, desert plants and flowers which offer much to her imagination as she seeks to paint the simplest expression of what she sees rather than a detailed view. It is her hope the viewer will find an emotional connection to the paintings.