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Gallery of Painting on Wood Art
I’m a big fan of the pandesal and the pepperoni aliment at Angie’s Bakery, the accepted family-owned and -operated Filipino panaderia on Holland Road in Virginia Beach. But I was appropriately afflicted to apprentice that the owner, Ken Garcia Olaes, is additionally an able painter. Photos online of his realistic, classical portraits blew me abroad and drew me in.
The accomplished art above in me was aloof as absorbed as the aliment biographer in me, so I alleged to see if he would be accessible to talk. His aboriginal acknowledgment was that his third adolescent was due any day so we’d accept to be adjustable on the timing. Turns out Leo Alexander accustomed on Saturday, July 25, and anybody is accomplishing fine. We met at the bakery the afterward Monday, the alone day of the anniversary it’s closed.
Where are you from? I was built-in in Nuremberg, Germany, and I grew up in Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart. My dad was an Army agents sergeant. We confused actuality to be abreast his ancillary of the family. I started at Lake Taylor, confused and went to Green Run, again accomplished at Kempsville High School. At VCU I bifold majored in pre-med and medical analogy and minored in biology. Painting-wise I am primarily self-taught, but I like to acquaint bodies I abstruse how to acrylic at the Chrysler Building in Norfolk artful paintings.
Did you plan on demography over the ancestors business? I did not. But I didn’t plan on acceptable a clear artisan either. I was a copywriter for seven years afore I got answer to clear artisan at NEXCOM (Navy Exchange Service Command) for 13 years and accomplished clandestine acquaint on the side. I acclimated to booty acceptance into the building to advise them how I advised paintings and drawings. I’d advise them how to abstraction and how to see.
Then Angie’s came along. Article in the cosmos put me in this kitchen to do article great.
I bought the business and took over a year ago. It was arduous at first. I had never broiled before, added than with my mom at home. I helped her and abstruse to assignment as a team. Again I watched all the workers at Angie’s and aggregate they were doing. Investigating. Testing. I booty agenda of aggregate I see. That’s how I learn. For me to feel assured with baking I had to accept how to troubleshoot. I had to apprentice the factors, like how the calefaction of the kitchen affects the dough. Calefaction and chef are like accompany and enemies.
But aback I started cerebration about my kitchen like my studio, I am curating aggregate that’s activity out of the kitchen. I get actual complex in the adventure abaft things, like area ensaymadas appear from. It’s a Filipino brioche but I’ve burst bottomward the ascent times and ample out what makes it better. Similar to the way I’ve burst bottomward my painting process. Then, my aggregation will accomplish the things that I create.
I accumulate a sketchbook of account for broiled appurtenances aloof like I accumulate a sketchbook for my art. The art one is absolutely a compound book, area I accumulate addendum of my acrylic colors and mixes.
How has COVID afflicted your business? Our hours never changed. We anticipation about it, but the association absolutely accurate us. I fabricated it a point to accumulate baking unless I ran out of flour, and I angled up on my accumulation orders during that time. Business was up at the alpha of COVID because we were one of the alone places accessible for people. They abounding up on what we had. I gave our grocery ancillary a abeyance for now to cut bottomward on all the affecting of merchandise. But we accept been steady. Our sales to individuals are the majority of our business. We alone accumulation a brace of restaurants. And we still action curbside if bodies appetite it.
Your artwork is actual astute in an Old World account appearance with beginning and avant-garde backgrounds. Area did you advance your admiration for the past, and how did you advance your style? Maybe it’s from the time I lived in Germany. I accept apparent about all the castles about Europe but I didn’t acknowledge it at the time. My appearance started by belief two of my admired painters, Caravaggio and Bouguereau. I affected their assignment and took addendum forth the way. Later on, I took a footfall aback and anticipation about what mattered to me as an artisan and what affectionate of art confused me. I consistently admired the rebellious, affectionate of blatant and territorial appearance of graffiti. So I absitively to amalgamate the two and absorb graffiti elements with classical-style portraiture. I gave the graffiti an ambition and a purpose. Spray acrylic wasn’t as accustomed to me so I had to agreement on debris of copse to amount out how it worked, what altered caps did. It’s still a alive abstraction that has so abounding possibilities.
The action of painting is what I am best absorbed in added so than the accomplished piece. I don’t absolutely acrylic to sell. I like to acrylic for myself. I don’t appetite to acrylic for a gallery. I will acrylic for friends.
I additionally use Procreate on my iPad to actualize agenda portraits. It time-lapses aggregate for you so you can see the process, the accomplish and how it was painted.
From area do you draw your inspiration? The present. I abstruse painting from artful masters and my baking is based from old traditions I was taught. And as I aftermath both, I pay absorption to what’s activity on today. Whether it’s ancestors or bodies I meet. Afflatus can be anywhere. Anything I actualize with my easily gives me satisfaction. And acquirements as I aftermath by agenda demography my way through wins and failures makes the acquaintance account it.
I additionally accept to audio books like “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. And autobiographies like Herbie Hancock. I can chronicle to his because he was a classically accomplished pianist and became a abreast musician.
Your family? What affectionate of approaching do you ambition for them? My wife, Karina, is an accomplished artisan (www.KarinaLove.com) and handles a lot of the administering as well. Our easels are ancillary by ancillary in our studio. Our oldest, Michelangelo, is 8 and actual artistic. Isabella Love is 6. Plus Leo Alexander. I appetite whatever they admiration as continued as they all chase their passion.
How do you accept time for your art, the bakery and your family? It takes a lot of time management. It’s banishment myself to do what I appetite to do. I am hands-on in the kitchen by day but I try to get two hours of painting in every night. I accept a action for how I paint. I’ll acquaint myself I am activity to beating out the bounded colors on a few canvases one night, again do all the forms the next. I can do three paintings in a week.
One chat that best describes you? “Artist” seems to ascertain me added than “baker,” so I’ll go with “artist.”