2018 E.A.S.T. ARTIST HIGHLIGHT | Carmen Izurieta

Carmen Izurieta

We're exploring the world of the dozens of local artists featured at MMAC’s 2018 EAST gallery and their mediums. The goal of this series is to shed light on real-life Central Texas artists exploring what & why they create.

Tell me a little about you and your work as an artist.

I started painting 12 years ago, as a necessity to express myself in different ways. The encaustic technique (also known as painting with fire) released this type of expression from within myself.

“Most of the time I can’t control what is going on during the process, I can only make sense of it in certain moments and accept what is appearing on the canvas. I began a spiritual process that made me embrace reality as it comes.”

I try to convey this understanding through my art.

You have some brilliant, huge pieces!  What are some of the obstacles you run into working on such a big canvas or with your medium of choice?



Due to the dimensions of the pieces and the technique itself, which consists in applying melted wax onto the canvas, I work each piece horizontally. This is the reason why I can only observe the final work when I look at it from a different perspective. Often times I hang it on the wall and stare at it for days before I understand where my focus needs to go. I have to be conscious not to loose spontaneity. Leaving the ego aside is always the challenge.

Your work is inspired.  Tell us where you get your inspiration for your work.  Is there particular music you like to listen to?  Other artists you admire? 

Everything that I see is an inspiration to me, any detail of reality as small as it may seem catches my eye, like small lines on the floor or shadows on a wall, colors and shapes.I rather work large formats and make colorful layers. The fascinating thing about this technique is discovering all the information that lies underneath the surface. 

Talking about music, I love to play Jose Gonzalez in my studio.                     

Visiting modern art museums excites me. I admire the courage and work of all artists but Gerhard Richter, Joan Miró, and Wassily Kandinsky are my favorites. I find so much inspiration in their work.



Big Medium's East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) is a free, annual, self-guided art event spanning two weekends in November. EAST provides opportunities for the public to meet the artists and artisans of Austin in their creative spaces.