"Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision - it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so."   

Charles W Hawthorne

On Painting


As a child I paid close attention to shapes, colors, and proportions.  I began to examine my world closer and learned how to see beauty in the most mundane of things.  Many events were recorded on a chalk board or in a hand made "sketchbook" constructed of used printed paper by my mother.  I can remember in that sketchbook I drew airplanes and runways after picking up an uncle from the airport.  Anything I found intriguing would get drawn or painted.  Creating images has always been a way of communicating and learning more about who I am.  The depiction of kitchen life was a way of connecting with my family and culture after moving to New York City.  Food always played an important role in my family while living in Peru, and even though we may have moved to America our traditions are still alive.  By watching my mother in the kitchen I learned that onions, tomatoes, and potatoes are key ingredients that should always be present in any meal, and with those sources of nourishment I learned how to execute different dishes.  Cooking and painting went hand in hand for a period of time.  As I cooked I would see compositions forming on my cutting board and meal preparations would be delayed because I needed to capture those key intimate moments. 

In recent years landscape painting, both in the studio and Plein Air, have been other ways of exploring and celebrating life.  Working from direct observation in the field allows me to think quickly and to respond to light and climate changes as they occur during the painting session.  Painting outdoors allows me to see and record colors and moods accurately while acquiring the knowledge necessary for the development of studio landscapes.  The limited time of I have while working in Plein Air forces me to focus, enabling me to connect emotionally to my surroundings.  With this kind of work I am following another long tradition, one that began centuries ago when British and French painters took to the fields to capture the world.  There is something humble about exposing yourself to the elements while trying to create something beautiful and honest.  By charging a brush with color and placing it in relation to other brush strokes, I'm trying to achieve humility, serenity, and light. 


Luis Colan