Name: Jose Higuera
Where do you live: I live in Cantabria, in the north of Spain.
Known for: I’m a Spanish realist painter.
Currently working with:
Oil on canvas art. I believe that oil painting, in its purest form, is the material that offers me the best chances; its textures, its drying forms, its capacity to illuminate the canvas and much more. It all makes of this material the preferred tool by far – aging is generous to oil and time gives it a special glow that makes the artwork mature in beauty.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this?
At the age of sixteen I realized that this hobby was going to absorb the best part of my life.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
A warm place, perhaps southern Spain.
How would you describe your creativity?
I’m a realistic painter and I try to capture the beauty of the real things that surround me, I like a wonderful landscape, the tender scene of a child playing with his pet or the natural beauty of a young woman, as a part of my works and not only a mere photographic representation.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
The total backing of my family from the very beginnings contributed undoubtedly that my hobby as youngster turned into a profession, a life style and a passion. My first exhibitions were received with high interest by the critics and the public and it is not long before I start selling my works with the resulting enthusiasm that encourages me to continue on the not-always-easy road of the art of painting as a profession.
What do you do at the moment?
I’ve just finished a solo exhibition in Madrid, I’m working on several orders and promote my work in several galleries in USA.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
The loyalty to yourself, to your own beliefs is also something you have to defend fiercely; it is very important to have a clear idea of what your aim is although there must always be an open door for improvisation – to be like a selective sponge allowing to receive everything and then selecting what can be added to the direction that you already had.
Important is also to be brave when making decisions both professionally and personally.
Tell us how it all started.
I began with painting as a child – the presents that I received were all related to painting. I took summer lessons from a local artist but I should be regarded as a self-made artist – I visited many exhibitions, read art books – all this, added to daily painting during the hours of natural light throughout many years, is what gave me the capacity to face the challenges that I put myself through later.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
I think you need a comfortable place and your inspiration.
What is your favorite film?
I couldn’t say, it depends on my mood – action films, Westerns…. I love French comedies.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
My old friend Jesus Otero Oreña (sculptor), who passed away. Talking about quotidian life and have a good conversation over a coffee again.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Walking in the forest with my children……. My models.
What is luxury for you?
The region where I live is the cradle of great landscape painters of the nineteenth century, and in my opinion, Spain has the best painters through history. Both of those things have awaken my interest in painting ever since childhood.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
Jesus Oreña wrote beautiful words about my art work and he taught me lots of things when I was starting to work.
What do you fear most?
Of course my children’s lives and not being able to paint everyday.
What is a happy life to you?
Continuing to work daily in what has given me the most pleasures in my life: to paint…….. Simply to paint!
What does a regular day look like for you?
My working place is a small studio that I built myself in the garden behind my house. It is made of wood which makes it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I go to work every day when I want and I finish work when I think it is enough. I don’t have a schedule. Later I try to spend time with my family.
Tell us about your dream project.
My series of works named “Crecen” based in the human figure tries to capture behaviors and feelings that I was discovering as my children José and Miguel were growing and getting to know themselves.
It may be the fact that they are my own children that made me more aware of these behaviors and encouraged me to record them.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Throughout my career I have had several people as mentors on both the personal and the professional field. I could not describe one as more important than any other because each period of my life has made me learn professionally and personally from different people.
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
Certainly self-taught. Books and information are universally available but I do not consider it always necessary to attend Art College unless one wants to take the teaching profession.
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
My friends, my family and my brushes.
What inspires you?
I believe that it is the process of artistic creation is what gives the real sense to my life. It is not easy but when one is alone in the room with the art work, there is total abstraction of the being and nothing else in this world matters nor makes sense – no problems nor memories. It is in these moments when I feel being fully myself.
In every instance the artistic creation starts with an initial idea that one wants to transmit; in general that initial idea evolves and becomes what one wants to achieve.
To clearly transmit a message or a feeling through an image is not easy. The inspiration is something complex to explain – it is a moment of imaginative clarity linked to a state of mind that should be appropriate not only for the work itself but also to the specific art work one is creating.
If all these conditions are met and the idea is good, the artistic ability will do the rest.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
Novels of Jules Verne.