I think for most people, it is hard to describe what you like about a painting. I have always found it hard to express more than a couple of sentences. Usually I say something like, “Boy,… the brush strokes are bold, the colors strong, and I love the organization of space,… really cool painting” and that is about as far as I get comfortably. I can say more but usually I feel like I am stretching it a bit.
For me, it is hard to describe what I like, but when I see it, I know it. I find some paintings fascinating, and others … nahhh. I expect every person has different tastes , but I still feel like I can spot an artist. There are many people that like to paint and churn out painting after painting. But there are some that are a step above not only because of their technique and preparation, but because they are not afraid to be creative. I don’t know exactly what the difference is between a painter and an artist, but just like I know when I like a painting, I feel like I know when I see the work of an artist.
David Noalia is a young artist here in Sevilla. I met David several years ago through mutual friends and since then, I have had the opportunity to attend several of David’s exhibitions and also watch him in a quick painting, street contest in the pueblo of Cortelazor. You can see a short video of the contest here.
David has painted in many places, and won many prizes and recognition. As an artist, David is always hustling. It is hard for an artist to make a living. Many people paint in their free time, but there are only a few painters capable enough to pay the bills and support their family. David has a wife Rossi, two precious little girls that love him to death, and just recently, he and Rossi had a baby boy together (David Junior).
Rossi is David’s biggest supporter and also his harshest critic. They are a team that depend upon each other and they share a dream. So David is hustling. He confided to me that he does not want to give up his dream of being an artist. And he is serious. He is dedicated and he seems stubbornly set on being an artist, and Rossi supports and helps him. They are fun to be around.
I think it is very hard to be an artist in today’s “digital” economy. First, there are many machines and shortcuts to producing interior art and design. I think many people are starting to lose touch with the concept of hand painted and hand made, and do not fully appreciate the creativeness and uniqueness of paintings and other works of art. Second, a painter not only needs to be a good artist, they also need to be a good marketer. Most artists have little patience for the marketing aspect of the business. David has all the energy, enthusiasm and drive, but still marketing is hard, especially on a budget. A New York marketing firm could raise David’s profile, but it would cost in six figures probably. There are few low hanging fruit, and from what I can see, a hard row to hoe. Maybe only an artist dedicated to his/her creativity can plow on, and maybe that is characteristic of an artist?
I just recently went to another exhibit of David’s (Ver para Sentir). This time in the pueblo of Bollullos Par El Condado, which is near Huelva in Andalusia. The exhibition was held at a small bar/restaurant called Almenta that has a dedicated space for artist exhibitions. David has an eye for taking the ordinary, and revealing it as extraordinary, and for the last couple of months, David has been exploring painting on wood tablets. The wood is from old forms used for pouring pillars of cement at construction sites. The boards are flat and wide, and have a lot of character after years of use. When David first brought the wood home to begin to use for painting, Rossi was incredulous and asked “what are you going to do with all that old junk?” David started painting on the wood, and quickly showed her how the ordinary becomes extraordinary. The exhibition shows some of the paintings he has made with the form wood. I will post the photos below so please enjoy. To learn more about David Noalia, please check out his blog here or his facebook here.