Paula Urzica’s oil paintings are an unashamed celebration of delicious things; Macaroons, perfume, boutiques. Descending from the Pop-Art tradition, Paula Urzica paints in scrutinizing detail subjects that are a consumerist’s delight; revelling in glossy surfaces and candy coloured hues. Her painting ‘Six Macaroons’ was shortlisted for the Jackson’s Open Painting Prize 2019 – a perfect reason to interview her and share more of her work.
Lisa: What is your artistic background and where are you based?
Paula: I am a self taught artist who started painting three years ago. I am based in the Cotswolds.
Lisa: Please tell us the motivation for painting ‘6 Macaroons’?
Paula: Macaroons are a recurring theme in my art. I find that they are simple and playful, and they always put a smile on my face.
Lisa: Please tell us a bit about the process of creating this work – did you use glazes to achieve this very realistic finish?
Paula: The first step in creating this painting was making an arrangement with which I was happy. The second step was taking a large number of reference photos. After that I painted the picture in one layer. The Da Vinci Black Sable brushes are my favourites and for my hyperrealistic paintings I use the smallest ones. I usually work on a small area at a time and when I am satisfied I will move on to the next. It is like putting a puzzle together.
And finally I ate the macaroons.
Lisa: What brand of paints did you paint this with and what do you like in particular about those paints?
Paula: I use Jackson’s Artist Oil Colours for all my projects. I love the colours and the texture.
The cost also allows for a lot of experimentation. I have quite a large selection of colours and when it comes to hyperrealism I try to match what I see in reality as accurately as possible. I also like the minimalist packaging, they add a nice touch to my studio.
Lisa: What was the trickiest element of painting this work?
Paula: This painting had no tricky part. It was overall a pleasure to paint. However I found that the middle of the plate took longer than expected as it reflects all the colours from the macaroons, whilst you might think it just looks like a shiny white surface.
Lisa: How often do you find time to paint in a usual week?
Paula: I love painting so I do it almost every day. Painting to me is like a meditation.
Lisa: What other subjects are you drawing to painting?
Paula: I love painting rabbits and anything colourful that catches my eye.
Lisa: What are your favourite conditions for painting – do you listen to music while you work, can you work with other people around you etc?
Paula: Most of the time I paint alone and just like being with my thoughts, however sometimes I listen to controversial YouTube videos and I don’t mind having people around.
I like my studio to be well organised with all my art supplies displayed. I collect oil paints, pastels and coloured pencils. Seeing them inspires and motivates me. I love painting on Arches Oil Paper, but for larger paintings I choose canvases with a fine tooth. When I want my paintings to dry quickly I use Liquin Impasto medium, other times I just use the paint straight out of the tube.
Lisa: Do you have any special art tips that you are happy to share with our readers?
Paula: My only art/life tip would be to follow your good feelings. It always works for me!
Lisa: What are you working on at the moment?
Paula: At the moment I am working on a secret project.
Lisa: Where online or in the flesh can we view more of your work?
Featured image: Chanel Burlington Arcade, 2018 by Paula Urzica, oil on canvas, 80cm x 100 cm