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Artist Spotlight: Estela Aguirre

Estela Aguirre's canvases interpret her emotional world and lead us on a spiritual journey.



Above: Artist Estela Aguirre at Austin Galleries with a piece that she created titled: "Soft" 24 x 24 in Mixed Media on Linen

Estela's Artistic Journey:

Estela Aguirre began painting while earning a masters degree in Human Behavior. She received an assignment to make a piece of creative self-expression. She chose to paint. That fist project set her on the path of a lifelong passion for making art. Her first art teacher trained her in the techniques and philosophies of realism, and how to paint precisely what she saw. Originally, Estela had no intention of making her new passion into a career, but soon her friends began offering to buy her work. Later, a fellow artist encouraged her to expand her artistic range, and introduced her to her second painting teacher and mentor, Jose Guerrero. He taught her to work in the realm of abstracts, and to allow the unimpeded flow of artistic expression and intuition in the creation process. Guerrero invited Aguirre to Paris, to exhibit her art with a group of his students. She sold several of her pieces on that trip. It marked an important landmark in her career.

The abstract genre is unique in that it conveys pure emotion without the confines of representational form. Abstracts, said Aguirre, were difficult at first because she had to let go of attachment to the idea of what the painting should be. When Aguirre first began to paint, she was taught to copy precisely what she saw. In contrast, abstracts are about letting go and trusting intuition rather than striving for perfection. Aguirre often describes her art as if she is not the one creating it, but instead channeling it from elsewhere. It is a very spiritual practice that connects her with a higher power. Painting is a method of self-discovery, and her paintings, over time, reflect different life stages and transitions. "Good Vibes" by Estela Aguirre 48 x 24 in. Mixed Media on Linen

The Artistic Process:

"Rustic 2" by Estela Aguirre 36 x 48 in. Mixed Media on Canvas

Aguirre focuses first contrast within the piece by articulating the dark elements and layering the lighter colors afterwards. She does not begin working with a premeditated intention, but rather creates paintings spontaneously with each new layer serving as a response to the previous. Occasionally imagery emerges. She described an experience in which she was commissioned to paint for a family, and when she presented the work, the woman broke down into tears saying she saw her lost child in the painting. Emotional responses to her art have been deeply meaningful to Estela, and further her confidence in her method. These experiences solidify the importance she places on continuing to create.