My name is Celsa Flores, an acrylic painting artist from Honduras. I’m a seeker of memories, through painting trying to capture the ethereal quality of atmosphere that is palpable in landscapes; thus, evoking memories and visions of my past. My personal history as a painter is responsible of not losing the explicit and tactile qualities of the particular subject that provokes my inspiration, but my vision is mainly centered on the subjectivity of color and form, line and texture, rather than the realistic aspects of the subject matter.
Lately, though, I have been interested in a more interactive approach to landscape painting, and think that a good way of grasping a particular memory is by painting what is actually there, as opposed to a personal feeling of a particular scene. For example, to ask myself, what is this sunset, clouds or sky, land or horizon that my eyes are looking at, trying to tell me, more than what of my personal knowledge am I infusing to this scene.
Is it going to be lost forever, in a few years, or will this “wonderful pine forest” be maintained intact for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to see, or will they even care. “What” and “how” will I paint to convey this, so that people can open up to the responsibility we all have as participants and assume (sooner or later) how we are to be involved in the preservation and conservation of nature. To appreciate and take care of our natural resources, is certainly a main concern, a political and social issue, that profoundly captures my attention.
This change of perception came about as I was listening to a friend of mine talking about her childhood memories in her hometown of Santa Bàrbara. The way she was talking, going back with such longing to the places she used to know as a child and how those same surroundings she often remembers in her village, in the heart of Honduras, are no longer there or changed to the extreme of being unrecognizable to her. What once was there, is not anymore, only in her memory.
To me, that made a great impact and said to myself that I had to capture this, not in writing, not in words but through images, of a place long lost but still there, intact, unaltered.
It is a terrible thing to lose your memory in aspects of your childhood that really mattered and are now perceived in a way, that once it grasps the unconscious, as an adult, the magic of that moment is lost forever if not retained. I loved children’s stories and a particular fairytale, read to me when I was very young, captured my imagination beyond any other “magical” event that could have impressed me that strongly. Imbedded in my imagination is the story of “The Blue Egg” (El Huevo Azul), and I have gone through all lengths to remember, to find and recover this elusive story, with no success. I believe that the secret of happiness lies at the root, the essence of my childhood. And I cannot find it!
And so, this year 2009, I gave myself a sabbatical from painting. Pursued other interests, like crocheting, weaving intricate patterns, with my hands, using materials as tactile as paint; no less colorful and beautiful to create.
I am excited to see what my next painting will bring me then. I hope you are too, that I have the unattainable ability to incite your senses and imagination in a way which brings memories back, not take them away. Painting is beautiful to me, the act of, because of the searching it always involves, to grasp the ungraspable, to speak the unspeakable and to paint the unpaintable.