“Nature is essential.”

Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Glennys Castro

Paul Zimmerman: When did you develop interest in art?

Glennys Castro: I developed the interest from a very young age. I grew up in a family surrounded by art in which my mother, older sister, and aunts painted. Nevertheless, my first painting lesson was in my senior year of high school. The passion was so incredible that I had to change my major before starting college from Secretarial Studies to Fine Art.

PZ: You work in acrylic and encaustic. How do you choose your medium?

GC: I believe that the materials chose me. Most of the time I feel that the materials speak to me, they inspire me. Then, I work with them and voilá.

PZ: Nature is a recurrent subject of your paintings. Why is it important?

GC: Raised in a sailing family, weekend getaways consisted mainly of nature. Nature calms me and takes my spirits to a different level. Even at my home in the city, nature is essential.

PZ: How do you create your paintings?

GC: My process usually begins by taking hundreds of pictures with my phone. With the materials I find, I know exactly which impressions I would like to see painted on a canvas or on a wood panel.

PZ: How did your practice change over time?

GC: Painting for me comes from inspiration however I don’t wait for it to come and show up to me. I sit at my art studio and start scribbling and doodling on paper or canvas. I have changed my practice with different styles, throughout the years. I have also changed how my studio looks depending on my needs.

PZ: How do you know when the painting is finished?

GC: After days or even weeks, the painting sits reclined on a chair with the best lighting in my house. I pass by it every day at different times of the day, observing the painting. I also take pictures of it on my phone and edit them in order to see what is missing or needs to change. If I like how it looks in the photos, I know the painting is done.

PZ: How would you describe yourself as an artist?

GC: I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. When I like the theme or the style I am working on, I will squeeze the last drop of my imagination until the next muse hits me. Despite this, I have learned how to understand and satisfy customer needs to sketch what they want until we are both on the same page.

PZ: Which artists are you most influenced by?

GC: My biggest influence is Picasso for his endless appetite for work. I would love to have the chance to hire assistants at my studio in order to create more. Local artists like Antonio Martorell have reached that state of the work environment. Other role models include Pancho Rodón with his portraits, Norman Rockwell, and Mary Cassatt with her everyday family and motherhood themes.

PZ: What are you working on now?

GC: I am currently working on refurbishing old and unfinished paintings with a style that combines two paintings on the same canvas. Sometimes I paint over everything and start over and other times I leave the old painting shine through a lattice look.

PZ: Does this pandemic impact your work and sensibility?

GC: Definitely! I started all motivated and painted everything on my site. Nonetheless, the “dry” season arrived, as if the pandemic was not enough. Regardless, last month I began to paint a pond with koi in it but looking at the encaustic painting you chose, I am going to focus and start encaustic painting again after I finish my koi of course.

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