Monday, October 29, 2012

A Talk with Creative Warrior: Amy Baca Lopez

I learned of local artist Amy Baca Lopez' work while having coffee at Lestat's on Park Boulevard in San Diego. I remember falling in love with the colors, the energy and the spirit of the many paintings that were all around the room.

Amy and I met today to discuss what I feel is a very exciting and liberating life of her design. I felt grateful to meet her and learn about her inspiration, motivation for painting and her commitment to authentic self-expression.

Amy appears to be inspired by many facets of life -- from the work of Spanish masters such as Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Antoni Gaudi and Salvator Dali, as well as children's art, music and graffiti.

I was surprised to hear that Amy had only been painting since 2009. She ran a successful graphic design business for over ten years and started painting only after a trip to Spain. During her trip she trekked over 300 miles along the beautiful Camino De Santiago.

~ Appreciating Life's Rhythms.

As Amy took her time, exploring and appreciating the gifts of the journey, she found something magical in walking and the balancing that occurs when we walk. She described it as a balancing of the system. She covered 20 miles daily -- walking approximately 8 hours.

At times, she says she wanted to give up and take a bus because walking is so slow. However, she began to think about and appreciate the slowness of walking as opposed to the quickness of a bus ride. She compared this experience to her desire to paint versus time spent on the computer creating graphic designs.

Prior to the trip to Spain, Amy suffered from carpel tunnel syndrome in both arms. She credits her trip and the walking experience to her healing.

When Amy returned to her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she was motivated to paint and found that she had the courage to show her work to others. She "just went for it," creating art and submitting pictures of her work to cafes and galleries for consideration. Her work was quickly accepted for a show in a cafe where twelve of her pieces were displayed.

Amy eventually moved to San Diego where she has been a featured artist in numerous shows. She credits her transition from her graphic design career to a full-time painter to the book *The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, which encourages creative expression through writing and various exercises toward a focused outcome. (*Interestingly, I've been working with this book for the past seven weeks and would agree that it definitely supports the process.)

Amy is also heavily inspired by music and receives shapes, colors and visions through songs. She also receives fresh ideas through exercising, her gym workouts and by consistently breaking routines and visiting new places -- things that are also encouraged in The Artist Way .

Check out Amy's work at numerous upcoming shows in San Diego including the South Park Walkabout on December 1st; The Mission on University Avenue; Lestat's (Park Boulevard and Adams Avenue locations) as well as Tazzo D'Oro in Little Italy.

"Every artist needs an audience." - Amy Baca Lopez

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