on Thursday, February 11, 2016
Full disclosure to begin with: This wasn’t the first time I’d been in Paco Rosic’s studio. I've had the opportunity to see “works in progress” and talk to him about painting. But when we visited to film this week’s episode, we were treated to more than I had seen or heard previously.
Walking into Paco’s studio is rather amazing. There are thousands of cans of spray paint. Multiple cans of nearly any color you can imagine. There are blank canvases and dozens of paintings in various stages of “done.” It seems a bit chaotic until you hear Paco start to explain his process. He shared with me that while he might not paint every day, he draws, doodles and sketches every day for hours. His sketch pad is his iPad and he is able to start his creative process anywhere he is with just the tablet and a stylus. As he gets inspired, he moves the sketches to a canvas and may end up locking himself in his studio for hours on end, working “until it is done.”
Paco told me that “done” is a tough term for him, too. He struggles to see any of his paintings as complete. He showed us a picture of his parents that is hanging in his living room and he said he started it four years ago and may still tweak it because it just doesn’t feel complete to him. Or, he said, it may be done and he’ll just have to let it go.
It was fascinating to see his process. He is currently painting two different commissioned works and he is working on his own projects, as well. There were more than a handful of paintings that were in various stages that he might jump back to at any point. I asked him when he first knew he might be good at what he does. He said he has been drawing as long as he can remember, but sold his first drawings when he was 13 or 14 years old. The hospital where his mother worked commissioned a series of birds and the drawings were hung in the exam rooms. He said it wasn’t terribly pleasing to be getting a shot while looking up at one of his own birds.
It's challenging to compare how someone like Paco sees the world to how I see the world, but when he said that he sees the paintings inside the cans of spray paint, it was obvious why he’s wildly successful and how his vision is so much different than mine. Even after we realized that difference, though, he was more than willing to let me attempt to do what he does so effortlessly. It is REALLY difficult, too. As I apologized in advance for messing something up on one of his paintings, he said, “You can’t mess it up. And if you do, I fix it.” That’s why spray paint works so well for him.
We didn’t show much of his family's restaurant, Galleria de Paco, in this episode, as we wanted to learn more about how and why Paco paints the way he does, but we will be showing what he paints in the coming weeks, and exploring the art of the food, as well.
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