At the tentative, impressionable age of 12, an art tutor told Regina Fernandes that she "would never be able to paint a proper watercolour". Fortunately for LondonArt, this formative experience was not enough to thwart Fernandes' enthusiasm for painting. It was a few years before the tricky medium of watercolour occupied her efforts again, but now LondonArt is delighted to exhibit a collection of some of her remarkable still life, land and seascape paintings.
Fernandes is largely self-taught and has been painting and exhibiting professionally since 1970, initially working with acrylic, pastel, gouache, graphite and oil. It was when Fernandes moved to Edinburgh in 1989, that she discovered the weather seldom permitted open-air painting - she did not embrace the stark contrast to the Brazilian climate of home! Moreover, the confined condition of student accommodation made indoor oil-painting awkward and so around this time, Fernandes revisited watercolour.
Before moving to Edinburgh, Fernandes worked professionally in Brazil as an illustrator and in painted textiles. Her career as an independent artist has developed under the influence of her professional experiences as a designer/illustrator and as such, aspects of her work tend toward a playful minimalism. Fernandes reveals, "I only start on a painting, when I have it all inside my head. It's like having a mental sketchpad inside me…. I like to switch from precision to impression. I love the freedom of having no "artistic style" though some people say they can see it in my work."
When asked what she would like her viewers' to draw from from her work, Fernandes lightheartedly replied, "Overpowering emotions, ecstasy, bliss, rapturous delight, joy? If that's too much to ask, I'll settle for a nice feeling of looking at an honest peace of work." At LondonArt we sense that, in settling for the kindling of nice feelings, Fernandes is underestimating the affect her artwork has on her audience. Her works are marked by both a naturalistic style and a personal and distinctive handling of media. Fernandes' work as an artist is unswervingly figurative yet her signature, skillful manipulation of light and shadow express the emotional tenor of her work beyond descriptions of texture, shape and space. When she paints interiors and still life, what she paints are "inscapes and still lights".
To see Regina's gallery please click here