How much of an artist’s viewpoint and way of life can one construe from viewing the artwork they have produced? A short perusal of Regina Macedo’s work reveals a great deal about her fascination with “Mother Earth” and the interaction between humans and nature. We could even hazard an intelligent guess as to what part of the planet she inhabits!
Regina Macedo was born in São Paulo, Brazil in the late 50s, one of six children. Her father’s career in the Brazilian Air Force kept the family on the move, not only within Brazil but, for a few years, the family lived in Montreal, Canada. Regina’s personal journey as an artist probably began at that point, at the age of six, when she won a children’s art contest in Canada for depicting the dangers of playing with matches and fire. From that point on, art has been her personal haven, which, according to the artist, “… has brought stability and peace within the scope of an often-hectic life”. Currently, Regina works from her studio in Brasilia, located in the central savanna region of Brazil.
During her high school years in Brasilia, Regina took regular art classes and also participated in a few local workshops. During her early undergraduate years, while attending a small, liberal arts college in Boston, USA, Regina took figure-drawing and a couple of studio-based classes. Ultimately, however, she faced the difficult choice between studying nature versus studying art, and decided to train as a biologist. Even while developing into a full-blown research biologist, Regina found the time to continue drawing and painting, with the natural world usually sparking her creativity. She continues to broaden her artistic repertoire, occasionally taking time to apprentice with exceptional artists that have different painting styles and subjects (e.g., Patricia Coonrod and Tina Garrett, in the US).
Recently, nearing her retirement as a tenured university professor, Regina has switched her career focus from science to the artistic realm, and is moving steadily towards a full-time painting career. Her past experience with nature continues to fuel her artistic perceptions. In fact, Regina has often been able to connect the worlds of art and science, in an attempt to focus the viewer’s attention upon the beauty of nature, which, according to the artist “… is sadly and quietly vanishing as we hustle on with our busy lives”. For example, as a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, Regina was enlisted by Dr. Michael Mares, Director of the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, to illustrate a book he and other researchers produced. Recently, Regina contributed her artistic talents to the K-12 Education Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology at Cornell University, by creating the covers for educational curricula that will be used by science teachers across the US.
Regina uses bold compositions and strong colors to produce vibrant paintings that invite the viewer to explore an exotic and colorful world. Her work is clearly divided into two domains: paintings that depict the complexity and beauty of nature; and paintings of people, with a marked preference for Indian ethnic groups in Brazil. Her artistic style ranges from impressionistic, bold strokes used to produce color-drenched landscapes to more subtle brushstrokes that result in realistic paintings of people and animals. Her work has earned several awards and has found its way to collectors in Brazil, the US, Mexico, Scotland and Namibia.
The combination of subjects and styles brought together in Regina Macedo’s body of work reflects artistic, personal and professional experiences, yielding a vibrant and original essence to each painting. “With every canvas, I hope to transmit some feeling based on concepts or images that filled me with emotion of some kind—sometimes joy, sometimes wonder and occasionally wistfulness or sadness. My goal is to convey these feelings to the viewers of my paintings, and to momentarily take them away from their busy lives to a place of quiet contemplation.”