Meet featured artist, Angela Navarro!
Navarro's artwork is on display now at our S. Lamar location until March 6. See more of her artwork at our Central location March 6 through the end of April.
Navarro grew up in Valencia, on the southeastern coast of Spain. In 1994 she enrolled in Fine Arts School there with the intention of becoming an artist. However, she hadn't been able to pursue a career as an artist until moving to Austin, Texas in 2012.
Before moving to Texas, Navarro managed an IT call center in England, where she met her husband. Although a far departure from painting, Navarro enjoyed her work and discovered creativity in problem-solving. She believes that people who take a creative approach in their endeavors, whatever those may be, are more successful. She told us, "It makes you less scared of change in general when you approach challenges creatively." She compared her former job at the call center to painting, explaining that, "Even with painting there is constant decision-making and in the end, the feeling of accomplishment is the same."
Upon moving to the United States with her husband, Navarro became pregnant and decided to shift her focus from work to family. Before the birth of her daughter, Navarro spent her time volunteering for Room to Read, an Austin nonprofit organization that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education, where she enlisted her graphic design expertise.
Today Navarro lives in North Austin with her husband and daughter. She found herself looking through a window in her home, admiring the explosion of color outside created by the lush trees and blooming flowers. These images began to accumulate in her mind, and as a stay-at-home mother of a toddler, Navarro saw painting as a way to bring herself outside more often.
After a 15-year hiatus, Navarro was a bit nervous to return to painting. When she decided to pick up a brush last year, she found that is was easier to start with more abstract forms and see where the brush took her. The abstract forms that appeared on her canvas began to take the shape of flowers, her brush strokes resembling petals.
Navarro's preferred medium is acrylic on canvas and her inspiration comes from her homeland of Valencia, Spain. She describes Valencia's landscape as being somewhat similar to that of Hill Country, the main difference being that in Spain they have the sea. She described the landscape in colors, "We have blue skies, purple sunsets and orange trees. It’s a very colorful place."
Over the years Navarro's style has evolved. Initially, when she began painting she enjoyed portraits. Then she paid a lot of attention to the shape and colors but has always approached painting free-hand, with large strokes and gestures. Large contrast has also been a trademark of Navarro's artwork. "My paintings never represent reality in terms of colors. I have always enjoyed the exaggeration of greens against reds, etcetera. I want the colors and brush strokes to speak for themselves," Navarro explained.
In Spring 2016, Navarro opened an Etsy shop with 10 paintings and sold seven of them within a short period of time. In the future Navarro plans to experiment with additional layers and mediums, eventually incorporating collage work into her paintings.
You can see more of Navarro's artwork on her website: angelanavarroart.com and her Facebook page. All paintings displayed at Kerbey Lane Cafe are for sale and you can also purchase from her Etsy shop. Questions for Angela? Send her an email.