FACES IN THE CROWD Colombian free spirit creates abstract art Nubia Gala-Seibert said she likes to take risks, seek out adventures
By RICK WEBER CHRONICLE CORRESPONDENT
Thu 07/23/2009 Houston Chronicle, Section ThisWeek, Page 2, 3 STAR Edition
Occupation: Abstract Artist
Fast fact: Like American painter Jackson Pollock, she paints with the canvas on the floor.
When Nubia Gala-Seibert goes on a vacation, she takes no itinerary, no maps, no alarms, no calendars. She makes no hotel reservations. She has no exact return date.
Instead of producing chaos, she finds that "everything works out in perfect harmony."
Even if she misses her plane or takes the wrong turn on the interstate, inevitably the glitch produces something that enriches her soul and sparks her imagination.
Gala-Seibert, 52, is a Colombia-born abstract painter who has lived in Old Katy for the past four years. She said she doesn't allow convention, rules or expectations to dictate how she lives or paints.
"In abstract, you use anything that works," Gala-Seibert said.
"Abstract art to me is the most intuitive and the most personal expression of an artist. You've created something that doesn't exist and brought about something. You create your own narrative and story."
"When I paint, I love to live my life. I take risks. I go on adventures. I don't go to school to learn art, except art history. I don't go take classes or workshops from anybody. My workshops are to travel. I just went to Machu Picchu. (an Inca ruins site in Peru). That's my school."
In the back corner of her studio, on a 4-by-5-foot canvas, she wrote a message to herself: "Inspiration starts when you paint. So, grab a brush and paint."
She said, "It's a process that is important to my existence. The reward? The stillness in my mind."
She paints with the canvas on the floor.
After some opening flourishes, she stalks the perimeter of the canvas, approaching it from every angle to gain multiple perspectives.
She isn't finished with the painting until a reflection in the mirror tells her it's finished. She said she holds the painting in front of one of the many mirrors in her studio and let's her heart decide.
"If it feels just right, then I'm finished," she said. "If it doesn't feel right, it's a work in progress.
"Mirrors are my friends. I never ask a person, ‘What do you think? What should I do?' Never. Because they're not the ones making it. They're not the ones feeling it. I should be the only one who knows when it's done,"