Gema Prades San Nicolás


Gema b. Spain 1994, first picked up a paint brush at a very young age. She studied fine arts; printmaking in England and later specialized in decorative painting and restoration at the Van Der Kelen school for decorative painting in Belgium.
Since finishing her formal education, she has primarily been dedicated to the restoration of modernist buildings in Barcelona and working on reproductions of marbles, as well as various personal artistic projects.

For her work she makes her own handmade organic paints. This technique not only harks back to the origins of painting, but also acts as an environmentally friendly option to modern plastic based paints. Her most recent venture is the production of watercolors, with this range of organic hand made paints soon to be officially available to purchase.

Morning routine:
I have a simple routine, clean my face with any herbal tonic, brush my teeth, brush my hair, feel clean. I put some incense or a candle and do 20minutes of yoga sun salutations, have coffee and eat breakfast.

Self Care tips:
Working with crystals. A healing practice I’ve been doing placing crystals on the 3Deye which is in the center of the forehead. The 3d eye connects with the pineal gland that produces and secretes the hormone of melatonin that regulates the sleep–wakecycle. This practice helped me with clairvoyance, concentration and to feel more awake. I also start having vivid dreams. To reset I like taking a long bath with cooking saltand rosemary essence. I try Not often because it is a big waste of water. Also I put cold water in my wrists when I wake up and after some orange or ylang-ylang essential oil to help with my mood. Touch nature, smell the floweers.

How I stay productive:
I try to find joy before starting a project. I am a big fan of Pinterest. I have boards organised by different themes from furniture, windows, beds, bathrooms,
arquitecture, lettrage, marbles, woods to animals, food, rituals. I keep collecting images and look at them when I am in the train or waiting for something and also when I’m chilled in the bed. It’s a nice platform to keep things together and find ideas easy. Like, if you find a pattern that you like you’ll be redirected to 100 more. It’s likea visual encyclopaedia, very helpful. After I look at the found images I keep doing research, looking at the meaning of the symbols I’m gonna use if there is any, and the meaning in other cultures and engage with the process of learning new stuff that comes across. I keep a sketchbook with notes and ideas to help me with there alisation of my creations.

Favourite paintings tools:
A pencil. A Round big brush used for decorative painting, it is very big there for help with spaces. There is another brush called Chiquiteur for doing textures, you can useit with turpentine amongst oil and does the negative effect making dots it’s very fun to use. Also the natural sponge to make textures in marbles and work with water.

Creative process:
I find a lot of things in the street, or given away. Furniture, pieces of woods, ceramics to hand-paint. Every time I find something It feels like finding a treasure because I don’t like the texture of new things at all I prefer the old. If I have to work in someone else’s house ,   I get to meet the people and understand the vibe they want to create in their space. I do a plan, sketch. Think of the composition. Look atthe space and find balance between more and less. Find space in space, draw in thewalls, play with the composition, change, observe, see. Paint, play music, change,make things look like old.


Lately I’ve started doing my own paints, acting as an environmentally friendly option to modern plastic based paints. Working with these methods, laboriously making the paints by hand, doesn’t just suit my style technically and aesthetically, but also makes me feel connected to the origins of painting, which evokes an endlessrepertoire of pictorial inspiration and gives me drive to keep going in this path. The pigments are mixed and dissolved with a natural medium I prepare made of organic sources depending on the technique. To make the binder lately  I’ve been using eggs (egg white and egg yoke), milk, honey, clove essence, beer, resins, clays andvegetable oils. I keep them in the fridge and once I do it from scratch they last aproximetly 3 weeks, and longer for the watercolors because they are dry. If I have to buy a big quantity of paint for an interior I’ll always go for the ecological water based paints.

Artists that inspire you:
I was fascinated by all the decorative painters and paint makers across different cultures like the west african women painting houses. They use clay, cow poop and tree brunches for painting. And the beautiful drawings in the houses from the women of the Meena tribe in Rajasthan. I feel connected with both by the way they work with the rawness of the paint and the ritualistic side of it. The need to beautify things and ask for protection. They also do it to reclaim the rain when their land dries up, then when it rains it bleaches the paint and washes it away.

I am also inspired by the history of art, the medieval manuscripts, the night landscapes of Marc Chagall, the mosaics of Niki the saint phalle and admire the grandiose work of Gaudí among others.

Classical Music uplifts my soul.
Prélude Op. 11 No. 1 by Anatoly Lyadov,
Après unRève Op.7 No.1 by Gabriel Faure,
Oblivion by Astor Piazzola Life Boat by The Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
Jazz Suite,
Waltz No. 2 by Dmitri. Shostakovich.
Waltz of the Flowers by Tchaikovsky.

- Sedmikrasky by Vera Chytilova
- Kill bill 1 and 2 by Tarantino
- One sings the other doesn’t by Agnes Varda.

- Orlando by Virginia Wolf
- The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
- Only love is real by Brian Weiss

Clothing :
I like buying Second Hand clothes, can make our wardrobes more sustainable and atthe same time you have the possibility of wearing whatever you want and changingclothes as many times as you want. Why buy new when you can borrow or buy fromthe secondary market? The fashion industry is creative, inspiring and influential. Iadmire and love that. However, that’s the artistic side, the trends, their textures,colors, shapes and fabrics. Production wise, fashion is mainly “mass, fast andcheap” and most of the world’s consumers feed that.

The amazing Teresa Estapé and her invisible jewerly.

Thank you for reading!

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