Estela Cuadro’s illustrations celebrate the extravagance of colour and the sensuality of line. Her work is a surreal invention, a fairytale of delicate washes that she allows to bleed, following their mark, their movement and building up her drawings based on accident, circumstance and happenstance. The effect is both startlingly beautiful and decorative as well as dark, menacing and foreboding.
This is instinctual work motivated by the stirrings of a rich imagination and is at once organic, geometric, abstract and utterly fantastical. Here’s what she has to say about her work:
One of the things that inspire me is music. It always transposes me and my sensory parts, takes me to an inside world, introspectively. It nourishes my imagination, it motivates me. It constantly leads me to paint many of my paintings and I feel pleasure in that. I feel like I never want to stop doing this. It is part of my life.
I use a lot of techniques, like pencil, small charcoal, oil. Especially when I was young. Nowadays, I like to use more than one technique at the same time, and get a different result. I use Indian ink with salt, and I let them act freely on the surface. I use other things to generate texture, and I use oil painting, pencils and pens to realize details.
When I realize a work I do not search for or think about how I am presenting myself. It just happens, from the inside of a person. I think that it is something deeper. Pictures show that side of an artist. I would not like to be tied to one style in particular, like ‘effective’ or ‘sellable’.
I like to flow, let everything happen from my imagination. It does not matter if I am not convinced of my work at first, but I am interested in taking away interesting tools from the painting or learning from it.