• Zoë Atkinson Fiennes

Vicente Romero & the Beauty of Now

Updated: Jan 8

The world is indeed a mysterious place, it was a seemingly random series of events that brought me face-to-face with the work of a distinguished artist, that of Vicente Romero, whom I would probably never have otherwise encountered. The first time I glimpsed one of his paintings was actually in a Youtube music video: I had not expected to discover such a magnificent artist that way.

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

The woman in that painting was crouched low among blades of grass in a wistful meadow while wild flowers and sunlight danced around her blissful expression. There was actually there was no sign of a reference to who painted the video cover at all and instinctively I felt that googling "painting of blond woman in meadow" would lead me down a fruitless path through the mire that is the internet and so for a time I let it be; I accepted that I would only see this one fleeting glimpse of someone else's wonderous way of looking at the world - a flare in the night that burns so bright and then is gone.

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

But that image lingered in my mind for weeks that became months and the woman the artist had captured so vividly had in the space of a few moments, seemingly etched herself into my memory permanently. That is the power of great art, its capacity to enter your consciousness and stay with you. It took a long time, but as you see I did unearth the name of the artist of that piece I remember so well and contacted him, and I'm so glad I did.

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

The protagonists in Vicente's paintings are so utterly consumed by the bliss of the present moment, relaxing into Being: witnessing the unfolding moment for what it is, and not what it "should" be or "could" be. They look free -- from the constant worrying about the future and rumination over the past that so many of us suffer from and don't always know how to remedy. Being present for the unfolding of our lives as it happens moment, by moment, is something that we all need help with sometimes: Vicente Romero knows a thing or two about how to get us there, as all of his paintings reveal.

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

This artist invites you to find yourself in the present moment before you and try on emotions and textures that you have most likely witnessed in your life but perhaps have rarely lingered in; the warmth of quiet company and the sweetness of a shared moment; mist on the window pane and your breath against the glass in silent revery; gazing into a glimmering pool or at the surface of the sparkling sea... Vicente sparks desire for the moment in his observers, he makes us yearn...

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

His worlds do have a dreamlike quality and yet they appear touchable because they are reproducable in real life; we can, all of us, reach a state of peacefulness by just quietly witnessing the beauty that our own lives, the world which surrounds us and the people we share it with all have to offer. But this requires that we be present for the present moment; there is only the now.

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

Vicente captures private moments of peaceful reflection with such exquisite grace and tenderness that each image endures eternally with a purity of spirit, as if never to be diminished or tainted. His works can remind us to cultivate these kinds of private moments in our own lives, teaching us that when the present moment is knocking at the door of your mind to be let in, you must open up to it and let life rush in!

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

Vicente has been living in Costa Brava since 1987 and chose "a luminous and peaceful setting on the Mediterranean for his studio," he is certain that it is this luminosity that prevails in his art. This fusion of talent and vision, and the context in which Vicente creates clearly impacts on the palette and themes found in his work and there is no mistaking his individual style. His paintings have so much to offer the soul, not to mention their breathtaking beauty. He has blended the skill of oil painting with pastel, celebrating their union through "a mutually enriching dialogue between the two techniques." It is as though not only colour but light itself pour into his canvases through his devotion, warming us up with summer days and enchanting scenes: a passion born from the heart that charges his brush to bring enchanting stories and our sleeping imaginations to life.

Image courtesy of Vicente Romero

Born in Madrid in 1956, this gifted Spanish painter graduated from the most illustrious of art schools in Spain, The Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in his home city. He has through his esteemed career exhibited in solo exhibitions throughout Europe and in America, China and the UK. Vicente is also frequently in Italy, where he leads painting workshops in Rome and so I couldn't resist featuring him on our Italy-centric arts journal. Vicente reflects that he "...owes his technique in oil painting to his academic training, although he has increasingly explored pastel, which he finds more direct, more spontaneous, and as he quotes, provides the opportunity for 'unrivalled delicacy' ."

My thanks to Vicente Romero for his permission to include these images.

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