ddd : fall
You are a watercolor artist, and an amazingly
talented one at that. What is it you like about it?
I've always loved the look of watercolor. There's a texture you get from it that's impossibleto create in other mediums. It has the [reputation]of being quite traditional as there are not many contemporary artists who choose to use it(although that…is changing more everyday). It'sone of the more unique of the painting mediums,in my opinion.
How do you choose your themes?
As most anyone could probably guess by taking even a cursory look at my past work, I havea leaning towards pulpy material. I'm obsessed
with mosters. I always have bee. Eve as a
child, the things I would draw on my TrapperKeeper would be all sorts of different scary things. At my most recent exhibit, my theme was classicmovie monsters. It’s an obvious inspiration for meI guess, but there's something about the monstersfrom that era that modern creature designs justdon't have.DDD:
Your more recent celebrity paintings for the last issue of DDD were quite delicate in style. You even added some
splashes of color in there…which is unusual for you, yes?
Yes ad yes. I started experimetig with
a lighter use of watercolor, and lightening evenfurther in post to create a ghostly, subdued look,but yet keeping some areas like the eyes and mouthdarker and more detailed to highlight certainfacial characteristics and qualities. I did add colorbecause I felt that it needed something to bring itto life. A certain something that was missing— perhaps a soul to the image. Traditionally, I'm notan extremely colorful person. I mean, I used tobe goth. Personally, I just think watercolor lends
Three years ago, I spotted him in New York. There was something a little different about him—hard to place. And I liked it. That’s how I met Alexis Ayala.
Artist and writer Ayala has recently moved halfway around the world, from his pre-war loft in Brooklyn to a leafy
sun-drenched space in sunny Sydney. It's a long way from the hustle and bustle of New York, but somehow, this misplaced character ts perfectly. I guess he’s gotten quite used to it. After all, everybody knows the Puerto Rican population in the Midwest is close to zero, and that’s where Alexis was born and raised.
itself to monochromatics naturally, more so thanother mediums. I prefer monochromatic art, and with watercolors I love the results it gives me. I’mnot going to restrict myself in any way, though. If
color works, the why ot use it?
The ne details in some of your paintings are
sometimes mistaken for pencil work or even photography.How do you achieve this look?
By sacrice. I have a store of virgis that I
burn at an altar every time I paint. Also, I use a very small brush and paint slowly. But mostly it'sbecause of the water. Doing a wash and slowly adding color into it can create very natural-feeling skin textures and gradients for shadows as the paintdiffuses into the water. This can take me a long time as I usually work from light to dark very, very slowly.DDD:
Not many people know that you are also a writer as well as an artist. What do write about? What do you like to write?
Since moving to Sydney, I have been focusedmore in media—writing about technology and video games, producing and hosting a podcast forthe site capsulecomputers.com.I’m still in the process of creating children's books,
both writig ad illustratio. You could say they arelargely iueced by the styles of Shel Silverstei
and Dr. Seuss, where everything rhymes. I don'tknow why, but I love rhyming. I've always had asoft spot for stories that rhyme, so I tend to do alot of that. Writing children's books allows me to write about seemingly absurd things and get away with it. Where else can you write about an eight-foot furry monster named Charles with a balloon
amed Bob as his best fried?