Our cover this time is by the incredible Theodora Capat and was done in charcoal. It’s our first cover that was not drawn digitally! Read on to find out more about this spectacular traditional artist.
Theodora: Horses and birds, when free, have this power and grace that I can’t get enough of. The powerful gallop, the hooves, and the intense breathing of horses just work so well with the type of work I do. Birds are also in that category. The power of flight and freedom, the whole sky is theirs to do what they please with it. They are so oblivious to what they can do. In “Noblewoman” the bird was created in a more fantasy Godlike figure. I wanted that power in this image.
LSQ: Take us briefly through your artistic process. How do you create such captivating images?
Theodora: “Noblewoman,” as I said, is inspired by a sculpture I really liked back in school. The combination of that sculpture with the work of Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scévola and all the medieval paintings, movies, and history, I felt like I had to also create something beautiful and noble. During that time I was very into that type of subject.
Theodora: In the end, the idea is what matters. The end result, no matter the medium you use, if it speaks well to your viewer and you are happy with it is all that matters. I choose traditional media because it is much more natural for me to work with than digital. I did a lot of digital work back at the beginning of my career. The problem I had with it is the digital side of it. It was not physical. Even if I did prints, for me the feel of raw material is what grabbed me back to traditional media. Charcoal has that side that I love; the dirty fingers and the stubbornness of the materials shows through the artwork. It is also a nostalgic experience when working with raw materials. I do not like sitting in front of a screen, but I prefer being in front of a canvas. I move with it, I dance with it. Back and forward to seeing the whole of my creation. Changes are very hard to make and take a longer time to bring things together. Digital is faster while traditional media can take days, weeks, sometimes even months, or years. It is a choice I made in this digital world we live in. Which one is harder? To be honest, you can’t compare it like that. It is a skill and a visual abstract language that makes your work shine.
LSQ: Do you have a personal favorite of the projects you’ve worked on? Or one that was memorable due to its challenges? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?
Theodora: One of my favorite projects was “Memento Mori.” That artwork took half a year to complete. It wasn’t a constant workflow since I had to move into a new studio. It stood around until I picked it up again. The painting started on a Livestream, then it kept changing. It is fun yet stressful to work on something with no true idea of what you are after. The changes done in oil media can take a lot of time, and the layers react in a way that makes it hard to paint without knowing how thick or thin to go depending on how dry the underlayer is. Memento Mori is when I was introduced to glazing and stand oil. “Noblewoman” also had a fun approach to its creation. I used soft charcoal from Grumbacher, soft willow charcoal, and I used a bristol brush in combination with a synthetic brush to either be gentle, where the bristle worked well, or be harsher where the synthetic one worked well.
I am looking forward to doing my own stuff again! Currently, I am busy with commission work. They are very good at getting you out of your comfort zone. That is how I managed to develop so much, instead of doing only what I want.