For our twentieth interview we’ve asked Sonia to give us her views on art and life.
When did you start to create art and why?
I started creating art when I moved from Brazil to the United States. My husband Gerry and I moved to Sarasota, Florida in June of 1993 with our 5 children. Shortly after we had one child in high school and two in middle school. The two oldest had just gone off to university and so I decided that I needed to do something constructive for myself–and I knew that it had to be art.
Did you have any formal training?
I don’t have any extensive formal training, but I did take a few courses here in Sarasota. The arts are very popular here and I was able to find a variety of interesting courses. I took courses in painting with oils, acrylics, and mixed media, as well as clay modeling and stone carving. Kevin Costello, an English professor, taught an abstract course that truly challenged my imagination by having us paint newspaper articles, short stories, poems, and music. Mr. Costello’s course inspired and enabled me to find my own style in which I continue to explore different avenues of abstract art.
It is past time for peace
How have digital techniques influenced your art?
Digital techniques are exciting and I feel that they are endless to explore, as they enable one to push and pull, overlay, change, texturize, modify, transform, contract, distort, modulate, reconstruct, refine and remodel amongst other things. I have especially enjoyed using digital techniques because they have allowed me to increase productivity without requiring the same amount of physical storage space as other mediums.
I work with digital photography, abstracting it to fit my theme. My belief is that people will engage with the artwork for a longer time. My intention is to have them think more deeply about it when the work is produced intangibly, using color, line, mood, texture, and feeling. In these ways, digital techniques in photography can awaken and tease the imagination of the viewer.
How important is photography for you?
Photography has become very important to me. My camera simulates having a 3rd and 4th eye. It has grown on me like an appendage, so much so that I feel uncomfortable without it. It keeps me in touch with my surroundings and in tune with what is going on around me. It produces the dichotomy of providing me with peace and quiet and, at the same time, a powerful voice.
Do you think photography can be art?
Photography is art. Photography, like painting, relies on light, line, color, and texture. Every photographer and artist sees things in different ways and produces what they see, which can please, provoke and sometimes create debate. All of which allow for input and insight. Art is about exploring and discovering new ways to produce a message.
Where do you go to look at other people’s art?
I attend museums, art shows, art fairs and peruse online art. The exciting part about exploring art online is that one can view art from around the world. Of course, in some mediums, the original is important to see, but in digital art, a duplicate can be as good a quality as the original.
Peace is possible
Are you creating for yourself or to communicate with others?
I work to communicate with others and try and reach out without being divisive! Coming together in kindness, tolerance, understanding, love, help, respect, and compassion. Embracing our differences with positive thinking and positive action. We must reject feelings of hate, indifference, and superiority. We are all human beings, and like snowflakes, we are individually unique. Coexistence requires that we treat one another as equals, with respect and understanding. Diversity is the spice of life. It is time we support all humanity. We need to equally provide for a home, for good health, for work, and for a decent living; regardless of race, sexual orientation, age, and religion. There is room for each individual in this world and no room for discrimination. We must come together, impartially, and work on coming up with real solutions to the problems we all face. Let us join forces with love and peace, working together in friendship and compassion toward harmony and unity, creating a future where pain ends and healing begins.
What do you think the role of art should be in today’s world?
I believe that the role of the artist today is to address our present-day struggles, suggest solutions, speak out with truth, protect the weak and try to inspire others to speak out with positive messages. Politics seems to be out of touch with debate, diplomacy and the give and take necessary to make changes,so surely the artist can help. Art, after all, is part of our history enabling future generations to understand our times a little better.
Sonia’s contributions to aamora can be viewed here
Sonia’s Flickr page