As the 20th Boneyard Arts Festival approaches, Smile Politely is spotlighting artists and venues who are participating for the first time, as well as artists who are debuting work in a new medium.
While 2022 marks Clara de la Fuente’s third year as a BYAF artist, she will be showing at a new venue (Analog Wine Bar in Urbana) and in a new medium (watercolor). I reached out to de la Fuente to learn more about her what she has in store for Boneyard 2022.
Smile Politely: What are you most excited about for this year’s Boneyard Arts Festival?
Clara de la Fuente: After four years painting and exhibiting my acrylic on canvas, this will be my first watercolor exhibition. I am equally excited and nervous to see how the public will react to my work in this medium.
SP: What inspires you as an artist?
de la Fuente: Time alone in nature, adventure, and time and life cycles. Sunsets, sunrises and dramatic skies are a common subject in my work. I have visited 22 countries so I was fortunate enough to see a lot of sunsets around the world. In 2020 I did my first solo hiking trip to Door County in Wisconsin. Until then, I had always experienced nature in the company of others, but that trip was a life changing experience.
SP: What’s your favorite thing about participating in Boneyeard Arts Festival?
de la Fuente: The connection with the public. Boneyard is the perfect environment for artists and art lovers to connect. I always make new friends and meet new artists. I really enjoy hearing about other people’s interpretation of my work—some really blew my mind! Also I love answering questions about my inspiration, the process, anything! I´m an open book, so please, ask away.
Bonus story: In Boneyard 2021 I had a painting called Death Valley inspired in the National Park in NV. It was a minimalistic sunset based on a pink and yellow spiral with all the lines converging at a central point. It represented the park, which was mainly a desert.
A person who came to the show told me: ¨ To me this seems a very sweet and peaceful representation of the final hour, you know, the light far away in the horizon? After all, it’s called Death Valley…¨ That really blew my mind that someone had such a different interpretation of the artwork. We laughed a lot when I told him that was not the intention, but I definitely agreed he had a point.
SP: How would you describe your work?
de la Fuente: I create expressionist landscapes with watercolor and acrylics. Color, nature and powerful skies are the main pillars of my work. I combine my travel inspiration with color theory to evoke the joy of adventure, and the desire of surrounding oneself in nature.
SP: Where and when will you be showing?
de la Fuente: I will be showing my work together with Sheila Parinas at Analog Wine Bar, 129 N Race Street in Urbana on Friday, April 1st and Saturday, April 2nd.
We will have an opening reception on Friday from 8-10 p.m. and a live painting performance on Saturday at 9 p.m.
For the live performance, I will be painting and she will be drawing with continuous line on the same canvas. We both have three min each to do our part, we will do several paintings. It will be very dynamic. It´s the first time we´re doing something like this. Open and free to all.
Saturday during the day, I will be at BAM! market at the Lincoln Square Mall, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SP: How can our readers learn more about you and your work?
de la Fuente: You can see more of my artwork on my website, check my Instagram for behind the scenes pics, or you can read the story of how and why I became an artist on this blog post.