Kristin Texeira ruminates on memory, inspiration and the creative process, in her own words.
There is a specific moment I can recall when I turned to abstraction. I must have been 18 or so and I was out running. It was magic hour and the sun was hitting only the tops of the trees. I remember these super-saturated golds and oranges and when I squinted, my eyes could engage in the contrast of the cool greens created by the shadows. I felt alive in the moment and wanted to remember it, so when I got home I mixed the colours of that instant to preserve it.
Since then it’s almost been a mission to me to hold onto time as best I can. I’ve collected colours in that way ever since – but, the way I lay them down on paper has changed subtly over the years. At first just lines of colour stacked on top of each other, then I moved to bigger blocks of colour still in no particular order. Now I’m playing with more shapes, and there is always a caption in pencil, to allow the viewer to enter the abstraction.
I write almost every day to empty my mind. My head is always filled with thoughts and memories, flowing and interrupting my day. I write to release, to get it down and make sure these moments are accounted for. When I think back to places, interactions, or ideas I’ve written about, certain colours come to mind. I use these colours to translate my stories into paintings. Most colours come from something specific. I reference real world objects, people, places, and then I translate them abstractly, since memory is something fleeting and not concrete.
Since I was little I knew I wanted to be an artist. In elementary school I dressed up with a beret and a cardboard painting pallet for career day. Throughout high-school I would stay up late in my room cutting out images from Vogue magazines and arranging them in sketchbooks or on my walls. I applied to art school in Boston, majored in painting and just stuck with it.
There definitely has been a lot to battle against. For one thing, it was hard to convince my family from a conservative, small town that being an artist is a legit way of life. But, each confrontation was just used as motivation to work my hardest and make things happen.
When I interact with people or places certain colours come to mind. I keep track of these interactions with my sketchbooks. I have boxes filled with sketchbooks that I’ve kept since 2009, all filled with data to go back into. I find trends running through and pick one to focus a series of paintings on. I can get back to these memories through objects in my books; through my writing, pieces of paper, flower petals, etc. When I revisit places in my memory, certain colours pop up. This is what I use to create: my paintings are windows. They are not direct representations, but poetic devices to give you a taste of a memory.
My grandmother’s house is a place I time-travel to often. My first memories are from that place, and being that young with the clearest state of mind I absorbed everything like the driest sponge. The colours from her home, the objects and sounds were the first layers of thought, and have calcified in my mind. It’s always an adventure reaching back to those early years.
Also, my first trip abroad to Florence, Italy was a special marker in time. New light, sounds, language, and culture – it was like being a child again with eyes wide open. It’s very important to put yourself in unfamiliar territory every so often – to shock yourself awake and remind yourself you’re alive.
There are memories left in doorways, street corners, parks, in people. There is the elation of running into someone you know in the street, the mystery behind doors of places you purposely leave untouched to preserve the magic. New York keeps my eyes hungry – I try to notice all the nooks and put them into paint before they disappear. There is a fire to hold onto everything I see. There is always something new – like travelling to a new place without leaving.