Mayan Influences in My Artwork

In my own watercolors, Mayan art influences and shapes the images I paint. To this, I add my own interpretations of the enduring impact of psychology and the human spirit. I intertwine these elements within the very fabric of my artwork. There is an intricate connection between my inspirations and the artistic manifestations they give rise to.

Watercolor Paintings and Mayan Influences

When it comes to Mayan art, one cannot overlook the remarkable representation of the human head and face found in Mayan murals. As I delve into the intricate details of my latest watercolor paintings, I am captivated by the distinct style that the Mayans employed. 

With a neutral tone, the Mayans skillfully depicted the human form, paying close attention to facial features and expressions. From their elaborate headdresses to the subtle nuances in their facial expressions, every stroke of the brush showcased the Mayans’ meticulous observation of the human visage. 

It is truly fascinating to witness how the Mayan style of art brings life and depth to their murals, offering us a glimpse into their rich culture and artistic prowess.

In watercolor, I love exploring the interplay of color and texture. It’s not just about achieving a wet look, but also about creating a unique texture that stands out on its own. Unlike traditional watercolor, which builds up layers upon layers, I opt for a different approach. In my artwork, I’ve employed many layers to create this rich brownish-red color.

Building up many layers of watercolor creates the rich brownish-red color in the lower portion of this painting. Artwork by Dick Crispo.

If you closely examine the painting, you’ll notice the intricate details and layers present. It’s amazing how much effort and time went into achieving this specific shade of blue, particularly in the nose area. The process involved adding and removing layers since watercolor is a subtractive medium.

When I take a closer look at this painting, I’ve created a variety of layers that give the impression of floating shapes, resembling amoebas or something similar. It’s truly an interesting visual. 

Creating Surface Texture on Smooth Watercolor Paper

However, one question that comes to mind is what type of paper was used? Is it a heavy paper?

The paper used for this artwork is actually smooth and cold press. Despite its smooth surface, I manage to create a textured effect through my techniques. For instance, certain areas like the yellow sections have more texture compared to others. 

The yellow sections of this painting have more texture.

Artwork Speaking to the Human Psyche and Condition

I also like to focus on capturing the auras surrounding the objects and people in the artwork. In this case, the artwork depicts conversations in the mind, which can sometimes be confusing.

In the case of the soft blue, there is a technique to achieve a softer shade at the bottom and a lighter shade at the top. This involves blotting with toilet paper and then using a wet brush to draw in a more traditional watercolor style. This method not only describes the colors but also captures the essence of the thoughts and imagery within my artist’s mind.

The light blue areas in this painting are achieved by blotting the paint before it’s completely dried.

These artworks are all representations of the human condition and the human psyche. Throughout my years of studying psychology, attending therapy sessions, and working in various psychology-related jobs, I have come to realize the importance of incorporating the human spirit into my pieces. 

Artist Dick Crispo in his studio, Monterey, CA.

Simply making them sculptural or devoid of emotional expression doesn’t feel right to me. In order for the artwork to truly resonate, it needs to possess a spirit and soul – it needs to reflect the spirit of the soul. This perspective offers a different and unique way of perceiving and creating art.