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The calm and the tenderness of an octogenarian Spanish painter
02 February 2019 @ 19:40

      In the middle of last December, I watched on television a story about a Spanish painter; and this was a curious news, because it said that this lady, octogenarian, was already famous in social networks. So, I started investigating this case and I would like to share it with you.

      Concha García Zaera is 88 years old and she began to draw, in Paint, because her children gave her a computer, to overcome boredom, and she has become one of the most followed Instagram artists. She sweeps social networks and more than 178,000 followers enjoy their works of art. Such is her success that Disney commissioned, a little over a month ago, a drawing to promote its new film, "Mary Poppins returns".

Concha García Zaera

      Concha, of course, fulfilled and painted in Paint a portrait of the protagonist of the film, Emily Blunt. The result is so amazing that the company itself has shared it on Twitter: "On the occasion of the premiere of “Mary Poppins returns”, the beloved artist, Concha García Zaera, pays homage in her Instagram profile, with her particular version of the poster made in Paint. A work of art practically perfect in everything!. If you liked, December 21 in cinemas", the tweeted.

Version of the poster of Mary Poppins returns

      "She is a character that I have always loved", this digital artist assured, and she says that the company's proposal was a real "challenge", because she had never drawn faces.

      For several weeks she retouched the famous nurse's drawing, until she was "satisfied", with special difficulty in the character's hat and hair.

      The digital artist, delighted with the recognition, thanked Disney for the trust they have placed in her: "It was a great honor that Disney wanted to have me to communicate the premiere (...) I am looking forward to watching it, I have always loved it", she said, on Instagram, before the applause and praise from her fans, whose number grows every day.

      In addition to being a great artist, the Valencian artist is humble and recognises: "I have no imagination", she confesses, although she is very good at copying and inspiration comes from anywhere, a pharmacy bag or any shop, a box in a shop window, a postcard (of which her husband sent her on her work trips), a box of a game or drawings of a magazine.

A painting based on a postcard sent to her by her husband

      She recognises that she is "hunting" and "stealing" images, because when she sees something that she likes, she takes a photo and then prints it, she draws a grid and copies it on her computer.

      This facility for copying has allowed her to draw birds, deer, fish or cats, but also lighthouses, the Valencian beach of El Saler, the Greek island of Santorini or Andalusian nooks, of China or of her hometown, such as the Trinity Bridge, the Central Market, the Lonja (Market, a warehouse for keeping fish) or the Cathedral.

A small deer

A lighthouse on the background

The Greek island of Santorini​​​​​​​

An Andalusian nook

A nook of China​​​​​​​

The Trinity Bridge in Valencia​​​​​​​

The Cathedral of Valencia in the background​​​​​​​

      She has special affection to some drawings that show the image of her grandmother's village, Vall de Almonacid, in the Sierra de Espadán (Castellón, east of Spain), where she has spent all her summers and some of which skims the 54,000 "like".

Vall de Almonacid​​​​​​​

      She remembers how "expensive" is which she has called "Lisboon" and that she copies a postcard that her daughter brought her from the Portuguese capital with the tram and with "many small balconies, houses and pots".

The tram of Lisboon​​​​​​​

      Her fondness for drawing is "lifelong", but in general she always did it with pens in a pad; but more than a decade ago, she started going to the Popular University of Valencia and became interested in painting in oil, until her husband fell ill and she left it to take care of him   --because her husband was bothered by the smell of oil-- .

      "At home, I was sovereign bored and, as I complained, my children bought me a computer", she recalls, although she emphasises that it was not for drawing but that she used it to write her memoirs, keep the housekeeping accounts and for her studies of General Culture.

      But one day, she says, to draw a small house and some clouds occurred to her, "a nonsense", that attracted her a lot and, the next day, she improved it with other details and dedicated time and became interested: "And until today".

      She argues that to draw, in Paint, you need "patience, a lot of love and enjoy doing it" and she adds: "And I keep it very often because sometimes, after days with a drawing, it has been erased".

      She detracts from what she does, because It is something that she enjoys and likes, but the insistence of her granddaughters, to share them, led her to create an account on Instagram, that exceeds 178,000 followers and that she herself manages, uploading her drawings and answering all those who praise her creations.

      She explains that she was "very scared" when her account began to rise unchecked and every day she received "thousands of messages", but now she says she knows almost all her followers by her username and that she tries to answer everyone.

      The last June-2018, the Popular University of Valencia, on the occasion of the Cultural Week of the end of the course, exhibited the works of Concha, who was a student of the Center of Nou Moles, of this University, 15 years ago.

Concha in her Exhibition​​​​​​​

      Concha has been defined, by her teachers of drawing and painting, as a naive artist and also an example of overcoming, in the adversity.

      The experience has revealed, in the words of her teachers, "a pure naive artist". In it, we find "the most genuine and well understood naif", says her Drawing and Painting teacher, Lalo Kubala. "The naif has bad press, because there is a lot of bad naive, but the work of Concha is quality naif, vital works, with a magnificent light, a look and a personal framing, that identifies them, as her works in oil had it".

      I want to emphasise the simplicity and tenderness of this lady, that together with her art, make anyone fall in love with her, in social networks.

      Congratulations to all the elderly people, who do not let themselves be intimidated by the passage of time, and have challenges to life.

      Until my next post, kind regards,


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Like 2


Dave11 said:
09 February 2019 @ 09:15


toolman2 said:
10 February 2019 @ 14:09

How beautiful, the pictures put me in mind of the old rail trasvel posters we used to see. The lady doesn't do herself justice, all artists copy and like her, put their own touch to the picture. Using electronic paint is just as much of a skill as using pigments, oil, water or anything else. I very much admire Señora Concha García Zaera.

marelison said:
31 March 2019 @ 15:04

This is the next step from real photos, and very interesting. Naive or no naive...This IS a kind of art. Everything is allowed in making of an art...

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