Beatriz de la Rúa’s recent works show a fervent vocation for colour. These large canvasses with an extensive palette follow on from the restrained black and white works and those with oriental looking inks that the artist created years ago. Beatriz’s creative method can be compared to doing/thinking: she needs to be working in her studio, and enjoys leaning over the canvas with her brushes and paint pots to generate her thoughts as she completes each work. Thus we can affirm that the artist and her work have a sanguine temperament. In other words, they are vivacious and happy, and she is a receptive person who can transform her emotions into impressions, who fascinates when she tells a story, who is affable and friendly.
These paintings are somewhat similar to a volcano whose lava flows freely. The palette sparkles intensely, unafraid of including cold and warm colours, while hidden and explicit graphic expressions appear along with transparencies and opacities in the canvas’s topography. Scenes linked to nature usually appear throughout this chromatic structure. If we follow Leonardo da Vinci’s suggestion to observe a patch of damp on a wall or the clouds in the sky in order to detect shapes, we find implicit messages to figuration. This is reinforced by Beatriz’s attitude of naming her works with very orientative titles. Remember that Marcel Duchamp said that the title was the most important part of a work of art. The word ‘forest’ appears over and over again, accompanied by different adjectives: confined, not dominated, fiery, hidden, impenetrable and temperate, among others. It is no minor detail that the works refer to this geography of trees. Forests continue to fascinate modern man just as they did medieval man. In those times, forests were sacred places full of mystery and magic, and were the meeting point for gnomes and fairies as well as werewolves, witches and ogres. They were attractive and feared places where covens met and later, with the arrival of Christianity, solitary monks retired to pray. Saints, bandits, birds and bears hid in the dense, leafy forest where strange, unknown sounds where heard, like the subtle chime of God and the devil. That sense of something encrypted and hidden appears in paintings such as Ramas peligrosas (Dangerous branches), Donde el mundo no entra (Where the world doesn’t go) and Santuario natural (Natural sanctuary). Before becoming a ‘natural resource’ that had to be preserved for utilitarian purposes, the tree-commodity was tree-divinity and was the axis mundi that linked heaven and earth. This is precisely one of the cornerstones of these paintings, which without being narrative or explicit refer to the harmony between individuals and the universe. We could continue to cite titles like Soles originarios (Original suns), Red estelar (Stellar network), Rocas en el agua (Rocks in the water), Fuego graficado (Graphic fire) or even Caramelos (Sweets): they all speak of a blessed nature, about a river that flows without stopping and a vibrant, restless landscape. Beatriz embodies the artist mediator who, like a tree, can unite heaven and earth in a task that is as full of obstacles as it is rewards. But more than a task, it is a path that requires work and sacrifices (in the etymological sense of the word, in other words to do something sacred), a path that involves several steps that alchemist brothers once set out in great detail and with dark symbols and can be summarized in three stages: the search for harmony within oneself; with the beings around us; and with the cosmos we are in. As the Latin proverb says, pedes in terra ad sidera visus (with feet on the ground looking at the stars), and this seems to be what Beatriz respects in her painting. There is a certain need to penetrate nature’s enigmas in order to understand the mysteries of the universe. This group of works is full of life like Henri Matisse’s dance; the dynamism of the shapes, happiness of the colour and the thousands of implicit messages for the viewer make up a circle that revolves around the mystery of life.