Monica Melgar

Why I create

 

My main motivation when creating is to calm my mind. I suffer from a mild form of anxiety that makes it difficult to relax. When my hands aren’t occupied I tend to bite my nails and cuticles. When I paint, doodle, sketch, or create in any way, it’s when my mind is most focused and not in a constant anxiety driven spinning mode. The worries of everyday life disappear when I’m completely involved in the work in front of me. All my thoughts collapse into one and all that matters is a line, a color, or the composition.

 

My work

 

My work consists of abstract backgrounds with layers of line work as the main subject matter. I first start with an abstract background with blended color combinations. The color combinations are either various bright pinks, purples and oranges or a grayscale color palette. 

I then add fine linework to create either a form or a pattern. I use acrylic gouache for the linework as it allows me to water it down without losing its opaqueness. Lately I’ve also used India ink for line work on watercolor paper. My main goal in creating either a form or a pattern is to engage with the viewer’s subconscious. I try to not make something look like something recognizable. Unless of course I’m intentionally making a butterfly or a skull or something like that. 

 

My technique
 

I’ve recently realized what’s influenced me the most in the style and technique that I’ve grown into. Growing up in a province in Mexico, I would go to the little tourist market where they’d sell silver jewelry, wooden plates, woven baskets, and pottery. The pottery was hand painted by indigenous people from the area. Their patterns and techniques were handed down by generation after generation. I remember when I was little being absolutely fascinated by their ability to free hand the patterns on the pottery. I believe that watching them and admiring their skill has subconsciously influenced my style. It’s only after hours and endless hours of practice that I can precisely and consistently create the lines that I do. I take great pride in my ability and I’m always trying to perfect the technique. I’ve been making patterns mostly with swirly, curled lines but recently I’ve begun making straight lines as a new challenge, all freehand of course. 

Most of the linework on my canvas paintings are made with acrylic gouache. This medium allows me to thin down the paint while keeping it’s opaqueness. When I paint on paper I use either ink or the acrylic gouache also.

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