Our annual Visual Arts Members’ Show is underway, and every few days we are featuring another one of our artists. Today, we’d like to introduce you to one of our 35 participating member artists, Luis Caraos.
A Hollis, Queens resident, Luis was born and grew up in the Philippines. A nurse, he has been an artist since he was a child, and has been a member of Flushing Town Hall for 15 years.
“Flushing Town Hall is an excellent venue for celebrating arts in Queens. This is the center of commerce, thus a melting pot in which people of different origin could express and understand the universal meaning of art,” he says.
“It is important for the city to support arts and culture since arts and culture is the only highest and most effective means in which people could easily understand each other’s differences and commonality. It is the easiest means to achieve peace, harmony and understanding amongst all people regardless of their origin, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, and political factions. When a community has a strong arts and culture, then strong business and commerce automatically follows and vice versa and thus this will impact the future of our next generations.”
His piece on display, titled “Rooftop Garden.” We asked him about his thoughts on art, and what “Rooftop Garden” conveys about him and his artistry.
Here are his words:
“I believe that all art, and artists, are not so different from each other. In all art, whether it be painting, poetry and literature, music, sculpture, architecture or dance, or in any other creative endeavor, the artist strives to express himself – his soul, his passions – through the art medium he has chosen for people to hear his voice.”
I did not decide to become a painter in one conscious moment of thought, rather I found myself, after a long journey and an accumulation of life’s experiences, with an intense desire to express myself and capture what I loved most – nature and her harmony – through the medium of paint.
I believe in the healing power and serenity one finds in communing with nature. We do not just enjoy nature, we co-exist with her, and in doing so we find our souls refreshed; our health, vitality and well-being restored.
Sadly, many people today are so disconnected with this idea, not quite knowing how to truly enjoy and savor nature in all its beauty.
As I paint the flowers on my piece called Rooftop Garden, I become quietly attuned to the power that the flowers have over me, the sense of tranquility brought about by the sheer natural beauty that I am seeing, combined with a throb of dynamism because these flowers are alive, pulsing, flourishing.
I am deeply humbled by the beautiful juxtaposition before me, beauty in all its naturalness. To be where I am, experiencing how the light falls and shines just so, such that I am within the circle of this natural radiance is such an overwhelming, powerful feeling. It creates not just inspiration, but energy as well, energy that propels my desire to create this art.
The respect I have for this moment is beyond words and all I can do is paint.
It is respect for this experience that to me is both mysterious and enticing that I pursue painting, and I know I shall pursue painting for a lifetime because here is where I feel whole, because to paint is to be endlessly filled with experimentation and discovery. Every day there is something new, something wondrous, and this is what I want to share with my viewers.
My paintings are my voice. Guided by my intuition and desire to create, I am able to tell my story, open myself to demonstrate feelings and expose my soul in a way that I would not normally do. Perhaps in my painting and in the telling of my story, I can invoke the same feelings from my viewers to resonate with their thoughts, their memories.
Perhaps with my painting and my voice, my viewers will be enriched as well, so that in the end, my work is not about the painting itself, but who these paintings have touched and how my viewers are moved to the same experience of wonderment and joy, energy and stillness, their soul coming alive.
My work is really about relationships in the deepest sense of the word…. relationships between shapes, shadows and light; the relationship between the artist and the viewer, between man and nature, between man and our Creator, between experience and expression. I paint something more than what I simply see, I paint with what I feel.
In my art all this is possible because my art, as nature, knows no boundaries. It is my hope that through my paintings, I can inspire and create in people the will to live at peace with the highest respect to his earth and environment, and learn to recreate the peace and harmony between man and nature.
To me, now, painting is not an option but simply my life, my very breath. I am committed to create impressions of my world. I believe that nature is our best teacher, and my focus is to capture its light and all its facets in everyday situations and learn to truly see the world in its simplest elements of value, shape and color, its sharp edges and soft nuances. My goal is never to copy nature, but to be true to it.
And it is my hope that – as I humbly attempt to paint glimpses of the beauty around us – our Creator is honored, for it is from Him that all nature, and all art, springs from.”