Her work transports you to another place and time. A time when Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Vermeer were making their mark on the art world. A time when their dramatic use of shadow and light coined the term “chiaroscuro” – and, cemented their reputations as Italian and Dutch Masters. A time when oil painting techniques pioneered a look of extraordinary realism.
Art-A-Fair’s Alice Hernandez-Gaona employs the same degree of skill and care as the old masters in the way she applies their techniques – in essence, making her a “Modern-day Master” in her own right. Her use of strong directional light, and juxtaposition of light details against dark backgrounds, gives her work a living, three-dimensional presence.
Alice maintains two separate studios: a converted workspace in the Long Beach home she shares with husband Phil – and, the Laguna Beach art gallery Alice co-owns with friend and fellow artist Gigi Rice. Alice paints from life, assembling still-life compositions of old-world objects and antiques. She typically selects a featured object (such as a pitcher, vase or teapot) to serve as a focal point, along with carefully chosen textiles, flowers, and antique props that imbue her compositions with old-world character.
The artist uses paint brush and palette knife on canvas or half-inch board. Alice, a true Renaissance woman, occasionally makes her own canvases. Her first application of pigment tones the painting surface, giving Alice a sense of where to place each object within the painting. Instead of outlining and filling in subject areas, Alice prefers to apply pigments to the surface and “carve into the paint” to define each portion of the composition. A completed work may require the application of three or four layers; the process can take two or three weeks to complete. Larger and more complex works can take considerably longer.
And, the results?
Alice will be returning for her seventh Art-A-Fair season this summer. She is typically on the grounds on weekends, sometimes painting in her booth.