We were fascinated by the work of Mercedes Bellido when we saw her acrylic painting of Caleta de Famara, in Lanzarote, one of our favorite places in the world. That magic that life sometimes has, that connects us with people who, at some point and apparently by chance, were struck by the same thing that we did. Whoever follows our brand knows the special relationship we have with the sea and nature, elements that are always present in our collections.
It was then that we inquired more about his work and his dreamlike, surreal and somewhat mysterious imaginary finally captivated us. We are inspired by Mercedes by her imagination, her attitude and she represents our most creative #leborgabalabrightwomen.
We chatted with her about her connection with nature, her artistic references, her evolution as an artist and much more.
When did you find that you wanted to dedicate yourself to painting?
I have always loved painting but I knew I wanted to pursue it professionally when I was in my last year of my degree, after having tried other artistic fields.
Your work is closely linked to nature and animals, what is your connection with it?
Since I was little I have had close contact with nature and animals, I am fascinated by the organic forms that we find in nature itself. Animals are another element apart, I have felt an inevitable attraction to them since I was a child.
Acrylic painting is the technique you use the most, would you like to explore another process?
I also do Chinese inks sometimes, engraving (although I haven’t done it for a long time and I want to go back to it) and drawing in graphite. But I am always anxious to reintroduce oil into my work, perhaps one day.
What are your artistic references?
Giorgio De Chirico, Yves Tanguy, Geogia O’keeffe, Henri Rousseau, David Hockney, J.James Audubon, Kerry James Marshall, Leonora Carrinton, Remedios Varo, Walton Ford, Neo Rauch… I don’t know, I have an endless list of artists that I admire.
What attracts you to surrealism?
Well, I don’t know specifically, but I think that everyone is surrounded by that aura of mystery that interests me. That mix of reality and dream.
Henri Matisse said that “color must be thought, dreamed, imagined”. On what basis do you choose the colors?
My palettes change according to the time, now I am using more pastel and powdery colors but I have come from a season using a lot of black, ocher, red and much “harder” colors so to speak. I think it is somewhat cyclical in my case.
With which artist or artists would you like to spend a weekend in the mountains exchanging reflections on art and life?
Difficult question … I would not know how to choose, since I can admire the work of an artist a lot but as a person it leaves much to be desired and the same in reverse, even an artist that a priori does not interest me artistically turns out to be a person with good conversation … I don’t want to break the magic of imagining what someone I admire is like.
One of our favorite places in the world is Caleta de Famara, in Lanzarote, and that you have accidentally painted on one of your trips to the island, what inspired you?
Caleta Famara is one of my favorite places on the island, it is a beautiful place with a special energy. It’s hard not to be inspired there.
How do you think your work has evolved in recent years?
I think it has matured, as I imagine. I am more confident when it comes to working, trying new things, colors, shapes, themes. It shows that I am becoming more comfortable with my work and with myself.
In addition to your own work, you have also collaborated with other brands such as Levi’s, Pepe Jeans, Hemper… what are these types of collaborations like? Do you have creative freedom or do you follow the parameters of the brands?
I am lucky to be able to do my work with a lot of freedom, the brands I collaborate with count on me precisely because they like what I do and trust me for their projects and that is tremendous luck. I am very fortunate to be able to work with such freedom.
What does creating without established rules mean to you?
To create it is not possible to have iron rules, there may be small guides but everything has to be moldable or else your creation will always be limited to something, conditioned by something else and therefore it would not be a totally fresh creation.
You are also a teacher at IED Madrid, what does it bring you?
Being a teacher makes you understand things from the other side of the prism, so you have to understand, dissect, abstract and transfer information in a simple way to other people. I think it is very enriching for both parties, the students learn from my experience and I learn from theirs.
You have followed our brand for several seasons, how do our garments make you feel?
I love the brand, I am passionate about knitwear and the truth is that the garments that I have from the firm are a joy. The softness of the point, the quality of the materials, the simple and light cuts. I feel very comfortable and comfortable wearing the brand.
On the cover, Mercedes wearing a poncho from our collection “Etnias FW20/21”
Mercedes Bellido´s Instagram: @mercedesbellido