Art Inspired by Life

Local artist Vera Edwards shares her passion and inspiration for oil painting

Local artist Vera Edwards

Approaching the studio of Vera Edwards on the agrarian outskirts of Felanitx, the landscape is laid out in front of us like one of her oil paintings. Earthy hues, rock and stone, sheep, and nature – all elements weaved throughout many of her collections. “For me, the countryside is the perfect place to paint,” she shares. “It’s so peaceful and there are no distractions. Once you get used to it, it’s hard to go back to anything else.”

Born to a family of creatives, Vera was always encouraged to nurture her artistic streak. “My father paints, my grandma is a sculptor, my great-grandpa was a painter, and my great-grandma made ceramics,” she tells us. It was a well-trodden path to follow, although she admits there was an element of pressure in following such successful footsteps, but she has clearly made her own way. Oil paints are her chosen medium, often working on several pieces simultaneously, giving her the space to take a rest from one painting and go back to it when the time feels right.

The Etymology of Words

Chatting with Vera it’s clear her mind is whirring with inspiration all day long. She enthusiastically speaks of material that influences her, from ancient civilisations and Sumerian gods to the beginnings of humanity and the origins of concepts such as math and language. Having studied in both English and Spanish, Vera has always been fascinated by the words that we use and often feels compelled to write things down.

“I feel like people who speak different languages live in different worlds. We have different sayings, we have different expressions – interpretation is everything,” she says.

An artwork could begin with just a single word written on the canvas to keep her intention and direction clear, and many of her current pieces incorporate visible words of significant meaning to her. “I feel artists are always figuring out who they are and looking into their subconscious to see what comes out. I try to be playful with it too though, because it’s about finding joy in what you’re doing,” she emphasises.

Art Mimics Life

Children are another recurring motif. “I heard a saying that angels always see us as innocent children,” Vera recalls. She takes particular joy in painting friends and family as children, bringing out that innocence through her art. Growing up on Mallorca, her own childhood memories have informed much of her work. Often, the faces in her paintings are anonymous yet not devoid of expression, depicted with just a few clever brush strokes. She pulls out a large textural painting on polyester of children on the beach.

“Something that I enjoy painting, that always repeats, is that playfulness that we have as kids. We have no worries. People really connect with these paintings,” she tells us.

Vera goes on to express how everything she does in life ends up leaking into her work. “They say the only thing that survives is our stories, which we’ve been telling for thousands of years, and I think as artists we have a responsibility to tell a story or two.” 

Text by Ché Miller | Photos by Sara Savage