Thursday, May 15, 2014

To Paint is to Breathe – An Interview with Barzaga

Although her dad introduced her to art, it’s Barzaga’s women that first caught my eye.  There’s a timelessness about them; they live in the past; they live in the future; they live, live, live. Outer beauty tempered with a single tear, a certain melancholy, they celebrate joy with music and friendship.  They wear their sadness well.  And I love every one of them.

Let’s chat.

Note:  In honor of Barzaga's Cuban heritage, 
questions and answers appear in Spanish 
beneath the English version.

Q1.  What is your first memory of art?

A1.  Spending time with my dad who introduced me to painting.

Q2.  Was there a point in your life when you decided to try art, or were you always an artist?

A2.  I’ve always been drawn to art.  But it was in my adult years that I took painting seriously and I decided to paint as a profession.
Q3. Looking at your Web site, Barzaga Expressions, I see many stunning portraits of women.  The more I look, the more I detect a certain wistfulness, almost a profound sadness, in their faces and body language. And yet, these are obviously strong women: performing music, hugging each other and/or their instruments, some surrounded by beautiful flowers, others in beautiful rooms. Am I misinterpreting these pieces?

A3.  Art is open to interpretation. For me it’s like looking at myself in the mirror many times or a reflection of myself. Or looking at the person seated next to me on the bus or a family member.  There’s no specific way, in my opinion, to interpret art.  Everything depends on the viewer. And the way each viewer creates a connection to the piece.  What for some is green, for others is blue.
Q4.  Are there specific triggers that cause you to race to a blank canvas/paper or do you impose a certain discipline on yourself?

A4.  The truth is, there is not a set factor.  It can be a memory, a feeling, a song, a book, etc.  It all depends on the inspiration.  If I don’t feel inspired, I cannot paint.

Q5.  When you are working on a piece, is there a point at which you realize you have a masterpiece taking shape on the canvas/paper?

A5.  I don’t think of my paintings as masterpieces.  I see them as a part of me. 
Q6.  Are there any artists you find particularly inspiring? 

Q7.  Are there any non-artists you find particularly inspiring?

A7.  My mother has always been a great emotional support in my life. Since I was a little girl she has supported me and helped in one way or another to follow my dreams. My father introduced me to art and my mother always supported my dream of being an artist.
Q8.  Please answer a question I didn’t ask.

A8.   Barzaga is my artistic name in honor of my mother, Marina Barzaga.

Tick, Tock
Q9.  Where can we see (and purchase) your work?

A9.   On my art page or on my Web site.  

Light Still Burns
Thanks for stopping by, Barzaga.  There’s always a beagle to pet and a cup of hot tea at the ready in Lakewood.  Don’t be a stranger.

en español

P1.  ¿Cuál es tu primera memoria de arte?

R1.   Pasando tiempo con mi padre que me introdujo a la pintura.
P2.  ¿Hubo un momento en tu vida cuando decidiste intentar crear arte, o siempre fuiste artista?

R2.   El arte siempre me ha llamado la atencion . Pero fue en mis años de adulta que tomé la pintura en serio y decidí pintar como profesión.

P3. En cuanto a tu sitio Web, Barzaga Expressions, veo muchos retratos impresionantes de mujeres. Cuanto más miro, más detecto una cierta melancolía, casi una profunda tristeza en sus rostros y el lenguaje corporal. Y, sin embargo, ellas son, obviamente, mujeres fuertes: tocando música, abrazándose o abrazando sus instrumentos, algunas rodeadas de flores hermosas, otras en habitaciones hermosas. ¿Estoy malinterpretando estos retratos?

R3. El arte está abierto a interpretación. Para mí es como mirarme en un espejo muchas veces, Un reflejo de mí. O mirar a la persona sentada a mi lado en el bus o un familiar. No existe una manera específica en mi opinión para interpreter al arte. Todo depende del admirador. De la manera que el mismo crea una conección con la obra. Lo que para unos es verde para otros es azul.

Mockingbird Song
P4.  ¿Existen factores desencadenantes específicos que te mueven a correr para un lienzo / papel en blanco o te impones una cierta disciplina en ti misma?

R4.  La verdad no hay un factor fijo. Puede ser una memoria, un sentimiento, una canción, un libro, etc. Todo depende de la inspiración. Sino me siento inspirada no puedo pintar.

P5.  Cuando estás pintando una obra de arte, ¿hay un punto en el que te das cuenta que una obra maestra se está creando en el lienzo/papel?

R5.  No pienso en mis pinturas como obras maestras. Mas bien las veo como una parte de mi.

Moonless Night
P6.  ¿Hay algún(a) artista que consideras particularmente inspirador(a)?

P7.  ¿Hay alguien que no sea artista que consideras particularmente inspirador(a)?

R7. Mi madre siempre ha sido un gran soporte emocional en mi vida. Desde pequeña ha apoyado y ayudado en una manera o otra a seguir mis metas. Mi padre me introdujo al arte y mi madre ha apoyado siempre mi meta de ser artista.

Black Tulip
P8.  Por favor, contesta una pregunta que no hice.

R8.   Barzaga es mi nombre artístico en honor a mi madre Marina Barzaga.
P9. ¿Dónde podemos ver (y comprar) tus obras?

R9. En mi página de arte o en mi Web site


  1. Love the bilingual post! And her art speaks volumes.

  2. Many, many thanks to Sara Hastings for her incredible translation skills.

    1. I'm really greateful to Sara Hastings for take the time to traslate this interview for me .-Barzaga.

  3. I want to tanks Carolyn Hastings for such a wonderful interview and give me the opportunity to share my work with others . I want to thanks Sara Hastings as well for traslate the interview in my native language . -Barzaga.

  4. thanks for this inspirational interview from eva I have grawn lots of inspiration from her works thanks for this awesome referal keep up the good job