How many painters of wildlife invoke Francisco Goya as an inspirational reference point? In the latest installment of Wildlife Art Journal’s Five Questions/Five Art Works, Spaniard Juan Varela Simó invokes the work of his countryman who served as a link between the Old Masters and the rise of modern interpretations of subject.
A Madrileños, Varela uses Spain’s ancient capital city as a staging area for field expeditions that have taken him around the world. His German friend and colleague Wolfgang Weber selected Varela as his interview because he brings a more impressionistic feel to naturalistic depictions of avifauna, his favorite animals.
Swamphen: This painting was selected by the jury of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum for Birds in Art show in 2001. Mixed media on Arches paper, 70 x 100 cm.
Varela, who holds a master’s degree in biology, conducted ornithological research on seabirds and formerly served as director of the Spanish Ornithological Society. Besides illustrating more than 40 books and other publications, he is author of the best-selling Guide To the Birds of Spain and recently published Between Sea and Land, a travelog and sketch book of the National Park of Doñana in southern Spain.
His paintings have been featured in galleries and museums in Span, Portugal, Holland, France, the UK and Israel. No stranger to North America, Varela’s paintings have been exhibited at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. He also has been a regular participant in...
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Post Date:February 15th, 2011
'German painter Wolfgang Weber interviews Spanish watercolorist Juan Varela about straddling the line between scientific interpretation of the natural world and making fine art. It's yet another great conversation in the ongoing, international feature of Wildlife Art Journal called Five Questions Five Art Works.