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As I write this, I marvel at all the things that simply fell into place, beginning with losing my job as urban developer almost three years ago in Brazil just three months after my husband also lost his … yes, unfortunately, my birth country has been facing a political and economic crisis and still has around 12 million unemployed...

Moreover, it was not just surviving, we have always dreamed of living abroad before -although with a family it is hard to give up what you love and get out from your comfort zone. Circumstances were pushing us out and that moment seemed to be the right one and in the second term of 2016, my husband came to New Zealand. None of us had been here before and we just loved the way of life more connected to nature, the life balance, culture and of course lots of opportunity for two skilled professionals.

In March 2017 whilst I putting my house down and getting rid of almost all I had collected in my adult life and saying goodbye to all my beloveds, I thought of bringing my old art material that had been carefully kept in a box in the top of a wardrobe. I had given up my dream of being a full-time artist to pursue a more traditional but yet creative career as an architect.  Probably until the third year of university I still painted and used to give watercolour classes for my colleagues.

Following university I fall into more formal jobs, marriage and kids and I only painted while on holidays in a tiny sketchbook and somewhat timidly, unlike the huge and colourful contemporary nudes I painted when I had fifteen years old. It was hard for me in the beginning as I have loved drawing since early childhood and have studied for more than seven years including 3 years of drawing and watercolour education.

Arriving in NZ, I finally had the time and the courage to start over again, so I packed my art stuff on a backpack to bike around the city parks. Drawing with a jumbo 8b pencil or ink pen and coloured pencils and doing some painting with a small non-professional watercolour set. However, the colours were muddy, the lines weren’t expressive and without the right proportions or accurate perspective feeling. I knew what I wanted to draw but my hand didn’t correspond to my brain and soul. But I had in some old drawers the filed classical bones of my previous years of training.

I was so desperate to portray my feelings in the paper so I submerged myself in a deep process of daily practice. And although watercolour had always been my passion and is yet the main target I consider that only through drawing I can achieve the mastery. I want to express myself with bold and energetic brushstrokes that are almost drawings with the brush. Not just washes.

As I have my architecture design work, I mostly paint by night or early morning using reference photos or previous sketches that I have done in plein air. I consider that drawing in location is the best way to capture the right mood and really connect to the landscape natural or built. In 2018 I started to develop my own style throughout a succession of online artistic challenges, workshops and also oriental brush painting classes.

I am very glad that my painting Mana (2018) has been selected to be in Fabriano in Watercolour in April 2019 with other outstanding artists from the Brazilian delegation. The painting is named after the Maori word Mana that for me means the power of my reconnection to my ancestral pathway with art and my own connection to nature.

I have been enjoying the process of improving my skills and having the opportunity to participate in prizes always pushes ourselves to be creative.  I am really looking forward to having my resident visa so I can finally apply in the Parkin Drawing Prize.

Cheers

Mila

Get out of your comfort zone

 
 
 
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