Energy. It’s one of the first things that come to mind when taking in any of Lara Accarias’ pieces. The sense of flow and movement is prevalent in every work. As you go from one to the other, you never know what will arise. In one you float atop the ocean, watching the sky swirl and transform, in another you are drowning in the depths of the sea, as you slowly lose sight of the churning foam above. It is no surprise that Lara is a person who contains the calm and reflective flow of nature, but who also crackles with an exhilarating kinetic energy.
Going by the titles of your pieces, you seem to be reflecting nature. What role has the study of nature played in your path as an artist?
I suppose I have always been amongst nature. I grew up in British Columbia, Canada, and we were surrounded by gorgeous scenery and wildlife. Vastly different wildlife than in Brisbane, where we seem to co-exist with an amazing amount of animals, birds, and reptiles. The beauty here is everywhere you look. Being amongst it all is where I’m the most content, so I guess it inspires me every day.
Using acrylic, timing is essential. How big a part of your process is being an observer of your art unfolding?
The timing is essential. I use an enormous amount of paint, so the tricky part is getting the angles of the canvas exactly right at every step. This allows me to control the mass of paint in order to create the details and lines I’m trying to achieve. If the angles are incorrect, the whole piece can be ruined really quickly. At some points I’m running around the table, and I have to say that I have landed on my bottom a few times slipping in the paint. A significant amount of my time is spent staring very closely and intently at the canvas to gauge how fast the paint is moving. My children see me doing this and think I’m a lunatic.
How has your style evolved over the years?
When I first started to paint I had no idea what I was doing, I simply decided to start painting one day. My life was so busy that I didn’t have time to research techniques or styles, so I simply did my own thing. The process of emerging colours in pour painting was wonderful, but I would always be finished before I wanted to be. I figured out that I needed my mind to be occupied for longer periods of time, so I slowly started to make the pieces more and more difficult to accomplish. Focusing on paint consistencies, timing, angles, and trying to control a huge mass of paint for about 10 hours seemed to do the trick. I learn new things every time, so I would imagine my style will always be changing.
What moment drew you towards art as a professional pursuit?
My professional background is in Hospital Social Work/Counselling, which is an extremely emotionally stressful job. I stopped working to raise my two babies, and when they were ready for school I had the choice to go back into that career. I love being a social worker, but with it brings a life of stress. After going through some very difficult years of my life I am absolutely certain that happiness is everything. Painting gives me that, so I chose to be good to myself and pursue that path.
Is movement vital to your work? It’s prevalent in so many pieces. The flow in Water Burst and Incoming Tide certainly comes to mind.
Movement is definitely vital in my work. I basically use gravity to create the lines and details of the paintings. I find that it mimics what gravity creates in nature, how water will find its path.
You don’t use brushes. Why? Is it freeing or restrictive?
I have never used brushes. I suppose because they wouldn’t be of much use in my process, in fact they would interrupt the flow of lines that are created by the timing of using gravity. It’s something I would never be able to reproduce as perfectly with a brush. I’m also too impatient to fiddle with brushes, and it’s much more fun to be messy with paint.
What colour could you never live without?
Black. I love to pour onto a perfect black canvas, or use it to pour onto white. It makes the most amazing details.
Many of your pieces are reminiscent of organisms, something examined under a microscope. Is that purposeful or just a wonderful happenstance?
It is never intentional, but I do try to create the details that I think suite the larger image of the painting. Sometimes it can be difficult to see them without seeing the pieces close up, but they are definitely my favourite part.
With the huge amount of pouring you do, I imagine your workspace is absolutely covered? What is the perfect space for you to create?
Oh yes, absolutely covered in paint. Using approximately 4 litres of paint for each piece (which I reuse), it tends to get everywhere. The studio is covered in Lino part of the way up the walls, and the floor is about 3 inches higher than when I first started. It’s incredibly freeing to be able to throw paint everywhere and not care. Although we have killed off a robot vacuum that had an unfortunate venture into the studio and sucked up a few litres. My perfect space to paint would be outside, but as that is not possible I’m very happy to remain in my little messy studio.
Lara Accarias’ incredible work can be found at Art Lovers. Do not miss the opportunity to own one of these mesmerising fusions of gravity and possibility.