Artist Agata Kijanka creates sensually textured abstract paintings. Working from visual and emotional memory and imagination, Agata builds each artwork in layers - applying paint with scrapers and brayers, transferring paint from other surfaces, and removing paint with solvent and blades. One of the defining moments for Agata as an artist was when she moved alone to Santa Fe from Seattle in 2008. As she explains, it was "a beautiful place that I love with its rich art related history, plentiful galleries, and inspiring landscapes. I anticipated staying for 6 months but I ended up staying for 4 years." She continued her artistic journey to Sedona, AZ and now lives in Albuquerque where she works from her home studio. Putting down roots in the southwest has influenced Agata's work, especially time in the desert, the sunshine and open skies. When she's not painting, Agata enjoys cooking, gardening in her desert yard, and talking endlessly to her rescue dog.
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About The Artist
My love for nature and my desire to paint are inseparable. Painting is a thread that connects me to the emotions and memories of being in nature, and to those feelings of Connection and Oneness. Through painting, I can be transported back to my experiences with land, water, and sky. I can share my emotional impressions with others through my own sensitive use of color, composition, layers, form, texture, and light. For me, it's never just about how a place looked. It's about the emotions I felt in response to a specific place. This is part of why I choose to create pure abstracts and abstract landscapes instead of working with realism. Abstraction allows me the freedom to interpret and translate.
Working in layers has been a constant in my process. Seeking to create depth, nuance, and mystery in my work, I use translucent and transparent pigments and paints mixed with cold wax medium, to transform, but not completely cover, any layer that I'm working on. With most layers, I also partially remove the paint I've added to expose specific areas and show what's underneath. I do this by using solvent to dissolve away parts of a paint layer, or by using other subtractive techniques. All this builds a rich surface and history over time. I relish seeing what happens as one thing effects another, sometimes in surprising ways.
Cold wax painting is my focus currently. It's essentially the middle ground between oil painting and encaustic. Cold wax mixed into oil paint adds translucency, texture, and other properties unique to this medium. I sometimes also mix in other organic materials like sand, volcanic ash, marble dust, and dry pigments.
I strive to create art that stirs feelings of stillness, grounding, serenity, renewal, or even recharge and uplift. The range of emotions and effects that I experience outdoors. Nature and art are both transformative and can create shifts in mood, outlook, and consciousness. Exploring this is one of the greatest joys and pleasures for me, both as a nature lover and artist.
Bachelor of Arts, 2000