With works as bold as her personality, artist and socialite Miriam Aroeste always paints with passion.
“My work is always based on emotion,” she says, sitting amongst her many colourful abstract canvases at Parker Street Studios in East Vancouver. “I can't separate my emotional state from the motions I'm making [as I paint], and that part is always evolving, it's so based in the moment. It just guides me. It's an instinct.”
For such a passionate woman, it's not surprising to hear that her primary inspiration—the fuel to her fire—is love, and she's got a whole lot of it in her life.
“[I'm inspired by] love in all sorts of different forms,” says the Mexico-born woman who's been married for 25 years, and has a grown son and teenage daughter. “When you have this feeling in your gut and have to breathe. That's what I'm attracted to in life and what I create with my paintings.”
Aroeste has always been an avid traveler and adventurer, always learning along the way. She particularly credits her time living in Rome, Italy, and Paris, France for accelerating her artistic career and developing her artistic appreciation.
A born socialite, Aroeste has worn many hats over the years involving creativity and people. She's worked in cinematography in Italy, Mexico and Canada and in Acapulco, she worked at an international film festival.
When her and her husband moved to Canada about 20 years ago, she also worked with the Vancouver Art Gallery for several years.
Aroeste's paintings vary according to the series, but common threads are minimalism, bold colour and exploration of texture and depth. Through her process, she always brings a spontaneity into her pieces that surprises even herself.
“I love those moments we have when we're kids. Three year olds get surprised by everything! Not that many things surprise me anymore, but I always search for the feeling of amazement and surprise, and try to paint in a way that gives me that feeling. I love the moment when my next move could be this... or that. I don't know what it'll be.”
These days when she's not painting Aroeste can often be found with her family in North Vancouver, dancing flamenco on Monday nights (“it's not easy, but it's beautiful,” she notes), or out on the town with her camera. Her passion for the lens resulted in her recently returning to school to earn a certificate in photography from Emily Carr:
“My photography practice is a bit more conceptual. It's poetry in a different way,” she says, noting that she tries to beautify reality.
While photography captures the external world, painting is her internal world. “It's autobiographical. It cannot be anything else,” Aroeste says. “My art is as connected to me as I am to creation. I can't tell you how intimate the process is,” she says, revealing that she often writes then conceals poetry within her paintings.