Deni Javas spent almost 20 years in NYC as an illustrator and designer before moving to Santa Fe New Mexico where she began to develop her paintings. Strongly influenced by her environment, watercolors remain the primary medium. She has also designed beautiful packaging for Godiva in New York. As an artist and educator Deni has shown her work both in the US and internationally. Currently, she spends her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Hong Kong, SAR.
Where do you live and what is your background?
When I was a child I decided I would either be an artist or a cowgirl. I started out being both until I realized I would suffer fewer bumps being an artist. This ride has taken me from New York City to the high desert of New Mexico, the fragrant harbor of Hong Kong and now the low country that is Savannah, Georgia where I teach at a university.
What medium do you work in and why?
Watercolor remains my primary medium. It's ability to hold transparency within density, and intention with fluidity illustrate the biomorphic nature of my work. There is an immediacy in the making of the mark yet time unveils its character. I find working with the medium both exhilarating, and relaxing from moment to moment.
Does your work explore any particular themes or fascinations?
Right now, I am thinking of threads. Sometimes there are events or decisions that lead us to one place or another. Sometimes these movements bring us to a destination directly and sometimes they feel meandering and circuitous. I am translating the essence of trees and flora not as a literal representation but as an interpretation of a moment.
Talk us through your practice and process.
Often I start my work by not working at all but by walking. As I take these long walks in nature I listen to the sounds around me, I smell the earth, and look at the nuances of color. Then I take this mental sketch into the studio.
If we were to walk into your studio what would we find?
I collect more brushes than I could probably ever use but when I see a new brush I always imagine the mark I could make with it. I also gather small trinkets and mementos from places I have been, things I have found and the people I have met along the way.