“I like things where there’s a bit of either melancholy or something dark or sinister. Most great paintings do have that. That’s why there’s interest in those for so many years.”
Ronquillo’s technique is also the culmination of years of work. Last month she wrote a guest article for magazine outlining her intricate process. It begins with a drawing, which is transferred to a canvas that has been prepared with imprimatura; Ronquillo then begins the underpainting stage. She adds layers of increasing transparency during multiple painting sessions, a slow method that entails discovery during the act. “I’m always learning,” she said of the artistic process. “Each painting presents a certain set of problems to be solved. It’s basically over the years, just trial and error. If you don’t like what you’ve painted, you can always wipe it.” She added, “It’s also individual style: I don’t think I can paint any other way. It basically comes down to how do you find your voice. It’s what feels the most natural, in a style or subject matter that continuously excites you and amuses you. It sounds very trite, but it’s all about — am I in love with this image, with these references? Is it something that to me is intellectually stimulating or satisfying or just amusing? And technique can be that too, because oil painting can be very, very complex or very simple, depending on the individual artist and how they want to go about it. For me, it’s a lifelong learning situation.”
Stoppard wrote in “It’s wanting to know that makes us matter.” Arcadia may not last, but the undying desire to learn has its own sort of perfection to it.