Florencia is a self-taught artist born and raised in southern Spain, the daughter of an American mother and a French/Italian father. As a result of her rich cultural diversity background, She grew up in a multilingual environment. She speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. She painted her first oil painting at age 5. She has been involved in interior design for the past 15 years, and has lived in Florida for nearly as long. Florencia is an artist in residence for the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society since April 2018. AlizéLaVie Magazine invites you to discover her amazing artistic universe.
ALV: Where does your passion for painting come from?
FCDG: I’m a self-taught artist and ever from a young age I’ve loved painting and making things with my hands. I have photos of me painting at 18 months of age and painted my first oil when I was 5. I inherited my artistic genes from my paternal side of the family, who included a sculptress, painters and several interior decorators. My family loves art and I grew up with original paintings covering the walls of our home. Spanish architecture, flamenco, colorful and elaborate patterns along with a simple elegance, influenced my childhood, and now my artwork. In as much as I can, I try to recycle and upcycle materials by incorporating them into my mixed media paintings, thus making it also eco-conscious. I am also a professional makeup artist, and use my knowledge in art and makeup artistry interchangeably to create realistic portrait-like paintings.
ALV: What is your inspiration and message?
FCDG: I combine my love of the classic masters with contemporary design flair to produce mixed media paintings by incorporating, up-cycling and repurposing materials that would otherwise be disposed of such as discontinued fabric and paper samples. The myriad of colors, textures, and mesmerizing patterns found in these samples inspire me in my choice of materials. I paint to celebrate us as imperfectly perfect beings by bringing out our strengths and our beauty, to use as a reminder of who we really are and to say“I see you and honor you”. Nothing makes me feel more alive than creating meaningful art that can touch, help, empower and inspire others.I use each painting as an exercise to improve not only my artistic abilities but also myself as a human, by recognizing and accepting in me what is also in others, be it good or not so good. When I paint, I’m painting as much for myself as for others, because I know there is a lot of pain and suffering that needs healing in every single one of us. I am in every one of my paintings and hope that others can recognize themselves in at least one of them too, and so, as I heal myself, maybe, just maybe, I can ease someone else’s pain as well. In 2014, I began a series of mixed media paintings of “empowered women (and men)” which is ongoing.
ALV: Is there any painter who has influenced your artistic career?
FCDG: Being a figurative, mixed media artist, I admire the classic artists and their amazing use of color and light. But if I had to choose one artist who has influenced my art, I would have to say, that is Gustav Klimt, who was far ahead of his time and combined figurative painting with abstract patterns and exotic symbolism as well as gold. This exciting combination found within his paintings is what I seek to achieve in my own.
ALV: What has been the most rewarding moment in your life?
FCDG: There are actually two events, so far, that have been the most rewarding in as far as my artistic career is concerned: the first one is my decision to leave my full time job to follow my heart and pursue an artistic career despite having no formal training; the second one is when my mixed media portrait of Michelle Obama went viral on the internet overnight and my Facebook post showing my piece got over 78,000 likes and over 57,000 shares last February. I suspect this is only the beginning of many rewarding moments yet to come and I welcome them fully!
ALV: What legacy would you like to leave behind to the world?
FCDG: I want my legacy to be such that my art continues touching people and empowering and inspiring them long after I leave.
ALV: What does the future hold in store for you?
FCDG: My hope for the future includes participating in art shows and exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world so that people everywhere can enjoy my artwork up close. I am open to and welcome these opportunities. I also hope my unique style becomes more recognized and I receive more commissioned artwork so I can continue creating beautiful custom pieces to perfectly fit my clients’ needs and spaces.
ALV: Do you have any advice for young talented artists starting their career?
FCDG: My advice to young artists, and anyone who loves art and wants to become a full time artist, is to never give up and know that it’s never too late to follow your passion. I don’t have any formal training and began painting seriously after the age of 40! Keep painting, practice, and make sure your artwork has a message. Meaningful art impacts lives. Make a difference!
ALV: Where can readers can find out more about your artworks?
FCDG: I have a studio in the New River Inn Museum of History located at 231 SW 2nd Ave, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301, where I’m happy to receive anyone who would like to meet me and see my artwork during museum hours any day of the week. To find out about shows, to see more of my artwork, and follow my artistic adventure, please follow me on:
For quality reproductions of my artwork on fine art paper and premium canvas, please go to: http://www.ArtbyFlorencia.com You may also reach me directly via email ArtbyFlorencia@gmail.com or call or send me a message on WhatsApp (+1) 954-446-4126.
ALV: Thank you Florencia, for sharing your inspiring story showing there is no standard age to start new activity you are passionate about. You just have to through yourself into it and give a try!
Interview by Alizé Utteryn