BY Dominican Pie (@DominicanPie)
“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.”—Pablo Picasso
Q. When did you begin painting?
A. I did my first oil painting when I was 13, but I really got into it after graduating high school.
Q. What are your favorite tools? Do you prefer oil, pencil, charcoal? Painting on canvas or sketching?
A. Oil on canvas, is what I mainly do, but I’m attracted to everything creative.
Q. Who or what is your muse? What inspires you and drives you to express yourself through visual art?
A. My kids, primarily. Before I had them, the world looked entirely different. My life as a single mom, my challenges, obstacles, the love of my family, those are all things that drive and inspire me to express myself through painting.
Q. You are Homeboy Sandman’s sister, it seems that talent is in your gene pool, was there an element within your family that has led to the two of you individually being talented artists in your own right? Are your parents artists? Did your abuela or abuelo paint or tell stories?
A. I think it was cultivated in us from birth and I think the person it probably comes most from is our Father. He’s an extremely diverse and talented person who dabbles in pretty much everything. He’s really an artist in every way, in how he chooses to live his life; never doing anything he doesn’t feel passionate about, and doing everything from the heart. So we followed his lead in a lot of ways and I guess it led us both to pursue creative paths.
Q. People seem to be the main focus of your paintings, why people? Why not places and things?
A. I guess people are what move me.
Q. If you could describe your work in five words or less what would they be?
A. Intimate, heartfelt, therapeutic, evolving . . . that’s all I’ve got!
Q. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?
A. Born in Manhattan, raised in Queens, NY.
Q. Artistically whom would you say have most influenced you and your work?
A. Everything influences my work. Most of my paintings are influenced by specific people and situations I was going through at the time I painted them. So I can’t really single anyone out. As far as artists I admire, a few of the names people would recognize are Alice Neel, Frida Kahlo (of course), Salvador Dali, a lot of the impressionist painters, Edward Hopper . . . to name a few.
Q. Do you have any upcoming shows or exhibitions?
A. For the next couple months I have some of my favorite paintings hanging in Bar Olivino, in Brooklyn.
Q. Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
A. I really have no idea, but I definitely see myself growing artistically every day. So by then, I should be in a pretty good place.
Q. What words of wisdom do you have for those who enjoy painting? Or those who want to start painting?
A. Look very closely at the subject you’re painting, because the closer you look the more you see. Don’t rush a concept. It’s kind of great to let a concept really marinate sometimes and brew into something that has real meaning. Because in any form of art the things that actually come from the heart and have personal meaning are the most beautiful creations.
Q. Those interested looking at your work or purchasing any of your paintings what is the best way to get in touch with you? Do you have a web page?
A. Just visit www.NataliedelVillar.com and look me up on facebook.