Tête à Tête: Maria Zinca
Tête à Tête: Maria Zinca
The Wise Owl has a friendly chat with Maria Zinca, a watercolour artist, living in Bucharest. Maria has held several solo exhibitions at Art C14 Gallery Bistrita (2018), Hub A Gallery, Bucharest (2018), 2Art City Hall, Bucharest (2019), National Bank of Romania (2019) and Alexander’s Gallery (2020). She has also been a part of group shows such as ‘Women Power in Art’ Exhibition in Cantacuzino Palace at Busteni in 2019 and Crossroads Gallery, Bucharest in 2021. The lights and shadows on the city streets inspire Maria to paint beautiful cityscapes.
Thanks Maria, for taking time out to speak to The Wise Owl.
Q. Let me start by saying that your watercolours are beautiful. They make even a crowded cityscape look enchanting. Our readers would like to know how and when you realised you wanted to paint. Was there anyone in your family or circle of friends who encouraged you in your creative pursuit?
A. Thank you so much! This is the message that I’m trying to give through my paintings, that you can make your own reality. You can feel lonely in a crowded street or you can feel a deep silence in traffic, with a street full of cars. Or even romanticise it. All depends on what is in your heart and soul.
I grew up in Bucharest. I am very fond of this city, because it’s my home, filled with memories and whenever I leave the country, I miss my city immediately. That’s how I started to paint cityscapes. I wanted to make you (viewer) feel like I do here. And I liked it so much, that I wanted to get more and more close to my vision, by learning more of the watercolour techniques. So, I attended watercolour classes, purchased online demos from artists I admire and practiced a lot for couple of years before I had the courage to have my first exhibition.
Q. I was looking at your paintings on the website and realised that you work exclusively with watercolours. This medium is known to be a difficult medium. Please tell us what attracted you to this medium.
A. I like challenges, I might say. Yes, watercolour is a very difficult medium, until you learn to control it. Then it makes everything a lot more easier. It has its own advantages and disadvantages. But I’m very fond of its transparencies, the lightness of the colours, the simplicity, the delicacy.
Q. Please tell us a little about the creative process behind your artwork, right from the stage of conceptualization to the finished work. Also, I’m sure artist wannabes would love to know what paper and brushes you use in your paintings.
A. It takes me a couple of hours to finish a painting. But I prepare it in my head for days, until I start painting. Because I have to visualize the whole painting, I have to “see” it in my head with all the solutions, all the composition elements, the colours. Then, I’m like a printer. My hands lay down (print) this image in my head.
I also use an iPad for some sketches, and I play with one photo that I particular like for the light in it and shape of buildings and erase the things I don’t like, add new ones, change colours, move people around in order to guide you to the focal point.
Q. On your website you say that your ‘special attention goes to mind-hands-soul relationship which keeps everything in balance’. You also say that through your paintings you are ‘trying to tell a story, depict an emotion, a feeling, something about being oneself.’ Please elaborate on this for the benefit of our readers & viewers.
A. Walking around the city has always calmed me. It clears my head, I take it all out, I cry, I laugh, and this helps me make better decisions. So, in my compositions I want to express a feeling. A state of mind. I favour the abstract side of painting. I think that painting too much detail would steal the freedom of seeing whatever you want to see in my paintings. I paint what I feel, not what I see. That’s why my paintings are sometimes very full of colour, sometimes crowded and sometimes very minimalistic, monochromatic and very calming. It all depends on my mood.
Q. Are there any watercolour artists you admire. If so, why? Who is your favourite traditional or contemporary artist and why?
A. I am a Romanian watercolour artist and I started my watercolour journey with Corneliu Dragan Targoviste, who is an exceptional artist not only in Romania, but also internationally. I also fell in love with works of Alvaro Castagnet and Dusan Djukaric, Joseph Zbukvic, Chien-Chung Wei. I studied their works closely. I found all of their watercolour paintings full of emotion and poetry. This is what I feel is challenging to obtain. And they do this perfectly.
Q. Our readers would be curious to know if you are working on any interesting art project or exhibiting your art in the near future.
A. Yes, I’m currently working for a new personal exhibition wherein I will exhibit besides cityscapes, also portraits and floral subjects. I hope to achieve this by spring of 2023.
Q. Is there any advice you would like to give upcoming watercolour artists on how to hone their craft?
A. Invest in good quality watercolour paper, because cheap ones will only slow you down. I am most comfortable with Arches paper, but there a lot of good quality brands you can choose from. Also, know your brushes very well. They don’t necessarily need to be expensive ones. I use even some makeup brushes that cost almost nothing, but I use them for some effects only. And good quality paints. I use Schmincke, White Nights and Rembrandt watercolour paints.
Thank you so much Ms Zinca for talking to The Wise Owl. We wish you the best and hope you continue to create your beautiful watercolours showcasing enchanting cityscapes.
Thank you for the invitation to be featured in your magazine and for your interest in my artworks.