Australian contemporary artist, Victoria Velozo, hopes to raise awareness about the ways in which we treat and mistreat our natural surroundings. As such, most of her paintings tend to center around the animal kingdom, with birds at the forefront.
Her unique paintings are a blend or realism and surrealism, with the animals painted against dramatic backgrounds, featuring splashes of color alongside patches of texture and pattern.
“When beginning a new work, I create the backgrounds first,” relayed Velozo in a piece posted on Artsy Shark. “They represent an abstract version of an environmental landscape in which the featured animal will be placed.” According to Velozo, she works quickly in this stage, often utilizing water, sponges, collage, and layering. “I believe this evokes a sense of movement and depth,” she explains.
Next, she uses watercolor to create the smaller creatures and birds which will be hidden in the background of the scene. Finally, she sketches and paints in the main feature, usually a bird, as the focal point of the painting. “Other than the realistic feature, I try not to have too much of a developed, preconceived idea of what I want the painting to look like when I begin,” says Velozo. The final piece is meant to stir your emotion, encouraging a feeling of care and concern for the natural environment.
Aside from paintings, Velozo work is also now printed on facemasks, highlighting—now more than ever—the importance of listening to what nature has to tell us in this day and age.