Soft Textured Movements with Emma Ortiz

Soft textured movements with prominent displays of colour, painter Emma Ortiz speaks on how nature influences her art and brings beauty to each new day.


Gabryel: How would you best describe yourself and your style of painting? 

Emma: I think the best way to describe myself is that I'm just me — Emma. Everything I make is really tied to my personality and the things I love. Color is really important to me, in my paintings and in my life. It will always draw me in. 

Other than that — I'm a Virgo, best friends with my mom, and one of those introverted extrovert type people who enjoys talking with anyone about anything, but also gets excited about being alone with my thoughts and craves simplicity.


Gabryel: How did your unique style of painting develop and flourish into what it is today?

Emma: I have a couple memories from when I was a little girl where I recognized that I had a specific way of drawing. The way I drew matched the way my handwriting looked, and it also matched the way things looked in my head. The same is true now. I paint in the only style that I know how, and the way that I see the world. 

I also have a background in Illustration, which I studied at Parsons before I began painting. I think that shows up in my work; through mark-making and drawing techniques that I now apply with oil paint.


"I have a really big imagination, but also have a lot of moments of calm. I think that's when things start to come alive, when my mind has been at peace for a little bit." 

Gabryel: Some of your paintings have a floral influence, yet are reinterpreted in such a beautiful way. What qualities do you see in flowers?

Emma: I see flowers for their different personalities and moods. They also feel like self-portraits in a way, or just portraits in general. There are so many natural shapes in the tiniest spot on a flower petal. Just the other day in my studio, I was reminded that flowers are home base for me. They can take you anywhere, and that's what I love about them.



Gabryel: Has spending time in nature altered the way you see nature in any way, shape, or form? 

Emma: Spending time in nature has been the best thing for me. I am just so appreciative of the beauty within a new day. Nature helps me zoom out and look at my life within a larger spectrum. Before I spent so much time outside, I was looking at photos of nature in different forms as reference and that just wasn't making the same impact for me. 


Gabryel: What has been one of your proudest moments since you began painting? 

Emma: My proudest moment painting so far was when I finally leaned into the calmness that it brought me. Painting has allowed me to form an intuitive relationship with my body that I didn't have before and is really special to me now. My first year or so painting, I was really focused around vulnerability and building that trust within myself.


Explore Emma Ortiz's paintings online or visit her on Instagram for her latest work.
Photos provided by Emma Ortiz 
Conversation with Gabryel Lake