Meet the Artist - Anamilena Ayala

Anamilena Ayala

This month we are featuring interviews with the artists who are in our upcoming art show - sight/unseen - at The Artist's Den in Concord, May 21-26, 2016.

What do you like most about living in Concord?
I originally arrived in Martinez when I first moved to the Bay Area fifteen years ago. I learned to enjoy and appreciate this area with its downtown close by, so when my husband and I were finally ready to purchase our first-ever home, we decided to move to Concord. We are now enjoying our 6th year here and we find everything we want in Concord, from markets to bike trails. Our only challenge is our daily commute to Oakland for work, but luckily we carpool together every day, which saves in gas, plus we can stay on the other side of the tunnel any time for dinner! Concord got to be even better when I found this group of artists on Meetup who wanted to get together for different projects throughout the year. After attending my first meeting, I became a regular participant and supporter of this group, the Concord Community of Artists.
Trio of small floral paintings in acrylic by Anamilena Ayala

What medium do you plan to use in your art for the sight/unseen show?
My piece will be an acrylic painting - at the beginning, I thought of trying something new with mixed media, but I decided I will stay with my acrylics - for sure they will not let me down! While the technique I am using is very familiar to me, the painting concept will be experimental. Creating this piece will definitely take me out of my comfort zone, but I feel very excited to try "identity" as an approach and to see the final result, which is always a surprise for the artist in me.

Lemon by Anamilena Ayala - acrylic

Are there any exciting techniques or mediums you've learned about recently?
I have been following and learning about collage from a couple of online videos I came across and I want to keep exploring this technique. In fact, I'm still trying to catch a workshop from an artist who makes great collage art that features random pieces of paper. I can only imagine my horizons expanding in front me with so many possibilities that collage has to offer.
How long have you been creating art?
I started making art at an early age in Colombia and learned from my mother’s incredibly crafty mind. She was my first mentor, then later when I came to America, I registered for some painting classes and was extremely lucky to find dedicated teachers who were very generous with their knowledge. I was happy to play “sponge” and absorbe as much as I could. 
What is the best advice you've ever received as an artist?
The best advice I have taken from an art mentor is to “step back and squint” as often as possible when working on a painting.
What advice would you give to a new artist?
Never give up! Forget about whether or not it looks pretty or perfect, art is just art and always will be.
Visit Anamilena's website to see more of her work.


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