Friday, June 29, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Lilibeth Andre

Lilibeth Andre of Houston, TX, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be "in the spotlight", please email Anna at to submit your information.

Artist Lilibeth Andre
Interview with our June Spotlight Artist, Lilbeth Andre:

1) When and how did you first become seriously interested in Art?
I was always interested in art. My father did drawings and caricatures, my mother was always designing new things, and my grandparents on both sides were also creative: architecture, painting, arts and crafts, and music. I remember being in pre-k, climbing on top of my dad’s drafting table, playing with his mannequin and beginning to draw figures. By the time I got to first grade in Catholic school, I did a representational crayon representation of the Virgin Mary on blue paper. My mother saved it and years later as an adult I was impressed with my sense of scale and anatomy. 

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in?
I studied every art class I could sign up for all through school but my first painting classes were in college when I studied architectural art and painting. I’ve used watercolor, oil, colored pencils, enamel, acrylics, ink, and pastels. For the last 12 years I’ve used water-soluble oils. I also sketch in charcoal, grahite and conté. I usually use the medium that I feel best applies to the project or what is specifically required. I also received technical training at the drafting table which I later converted to CAD and computer graphics work.
3) What do you try to express in your work?
Since I work full-time I use my art to find peace and solace in the beauty of nature around me. I also like to do figure drawing, especially to represent my Mexican roots in landscapes and figures. With my portraits and figures I like to represent strength and character with internal peace. I also like a little bit of drama. I like to find that in people as I bring out their features and likeness.

4) What artists/professionals have been your biggest influences?

The work of the Mexican muralists was inspirational in their representation of social causes and cultural focus. I liked the forceful expression of their work. I also like the work of Sargent and Zorn.  A professional mentor has been my artist friend Jim Rabby from Santa Fe. He is an artist who paid his way through school with his paintings to earn a degree in economics. He brings a total business perspective to how he runs his business.

5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work? I don’t lack for inspiration.

5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work? I don’t lack for inspiration.
My challenge is to make the time to paint more. I get inspired from everything around me or find inspiration easily. Because I tend to receive too much information from my surroundings, I can get overwhelmed with excessive stimulation. One example is being in a shopping mall or a museum. I begin to get so many ideas and inspiration that I overload my hard drive and have to find a quiet place to settle my thoughts.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now?
I would like to be retired and working as an artist full-time with time to create art for myself and for my commissions. I will strive to be more free and relaxed in my stroke.

8) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art?
Definitely. Working full-time I have always set goals for myself. This helps me better manage my time and my learning. Because I stopped painting during my married life, especially when I had kids, to keep toxics away from the home environment, I have felt I needed to catch-up for the years I wasn’t painting. Now I think I didn’t really need to take an all or nothing approach during those years but I feel comfortable that I’ve taken good advantage of my time since then. When I get an idea for a project, I am energized and want to work non-stop. I start strong and I take my time towards the end with the final phase.

9) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently?
Perhaps if I’d had the concept of being a professional artist early in my life I would have seen art as a career instead of a gift that was nice to have. Besides my architect grandfather, no one chose “art” as a career. Besides, having old-fashioned Mexican parents, they always thought I’d grow up to be married off to become a “kept woman” as it was in their time. Little did they know I would be the longest working of their children. With two careers to boot. 

10) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share?
I would have loved to be the new Shirley McLaine but I was too shy.

11) Best piece of advice for other artists?
Paint what you want to paint. Don't talk about it, just do it.

Here are some portrait examples:

Contact info: 
Lilibeth André
Art & Design