Abstract and expressionist artist Connie Rodriguez brings a moving blend of spirituality and skill to the canvas. Her watercolor, acrylic and mixed-medium works give the viewer an exceptional and emotional experience.
AB: Were you always artistically inclined or was your passion for art inspired by a particular time or event?
CR: I’ve always loved art and artistic endeavors. As a kid I would draw and use pastels; later, I began taking watercolor classes, but it wasn’t until [building] the studio that I really was able to lose myself in painting. I was an art therapist for 30 years and also practiced transpersonal psychology, which is a spiritually connected approach to the practice. I have a passion to convey this in my art as well.
AB: What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?
CR: I begin my day in the studio by drumming or listening to music. I review the images that inspire me from my photos of places or things, or by thumbing through images I’ve pulled out from cards, magazines, etc. In my studio, I’m surrounded by my favorite items—such as a clay mask (a piece I bought in Egypt of the Egyptian goddess Maat). Without the feeling of sacred space in my studio, I wouldn’t be as inspired, in which case, the paint and brushes wouldn’t be so important!
AB: How do you know when a work is finished? Have you ever left a painting unfinished?
CR: I once had a teacher tell me I would go through stages of hating a piece that I’ve done. She said it only means that’s it’s not finished. When I get to that place, I put it aside; then, when I bring it back out and look at it with fresh eyes, I may gesso over the entire thing, or I’ll get a sense of what I need to do next. When I’m completely satisfied with it, I’ll sign and varnish it. Now when I think, “I hate it,” I just know it isn’t finished!
AB: Is there a piece of work you’re most proud of? Why?
CR: I really like my piece, Guardians, because embedded in the art are five faces of guardian spirits around a woman in the middle. Most people don’t see them at first—until I point them out—and then they begin to show themselves to the viewer. (Guardians can be viewed on my website, in the abstract gallery.) I love this piece, as I believe we all have ancestors or beings that watch over us in the interdimensional field. I’m proud that it won “Honorable Mention” in a recent show.
AB: What would you most like to say to young artists?
CR: Don’t worry about what sells and what doesn’t. Just paint, paint and paint. If your craft is in another modality, commit yourself wholeheartedly to it. Your voice and connection to your work will speak volumes if you love what you’re doing!