Portrait of Costa Rican Watercolour Artist Ana Elena Fernández.
May 25, 2024 0 Artist Spotlight Belinda

Renowned Costa Rican watercolour artist Ana Elena Fernández continues to produce evocative and deeply personal representations of the Costa Rican landscape.

A celebrated member of the Costa Rican Association of Watercolor Artists, she will be showcasing her new body of work next week at the XVIII edition of the Viva el Arte art fair in San José, running from May 31 to June 2.

Viva el Arte | Centro Comercial, Plaza del Sol | 31 May - 2 June


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Viva el Arte Fair Overview


This edition of the fair will feature thirty talented artists, including other notable MÍRAME artists such as Osvaldo Sequeira, Juan Carlos Camacho, and Miguel Hernández Bastos.

Hernández Bastos will also demonstrate his unique technique of painting with smoke from an oil lamp on June 1 and 2.


Introducing Ana Elena Fernández's New Works


Fernández is a Costa Rican watercolour artist know for her sentimental reflection of life. She states: “Water, pigment, paper; a wonderful ‘all or nothing!’” During the Viva el Arte fair, Fernández will unveil a new selection of watercolours centred around the theme of flowers.

These pieces range from delicate yellow daffodils to emotionally resonant sunflowers set against abstract backgrounds, offering a new perspective on the natural world.

Highlight: L’oubli

Yellow wilting sunflower painting by the Costa Rican Watercolour artist, Ana Elena Fernández.

Ana Elena Fernández, L'Oubli, Watercolour on paper

Among these works is a poignant piece titled L’oubli, featuring two wilting sunflowers against an abstract, bright yellow background. In the bottom right corner, superimposed writing includes lyrics from the song "L'oubli" by Belgian singer Lara Fabian.

The song, which translates to "oblivion," reflects on her mother's battle with Alzheimer's disease—a struggle that deeply affected Fernández, whose only aunt also suffered from the disease. Fernández references oblivion as a form of relief, given the trauma the disease inflicted on her family.

“Oblivion. The oblivion as a distraction from the hurtful tendencies. Oblivion as if she denounced Her past, her sadness…”

The sunflowers symbolise these memories, embodying beauty even in their decay. Through this, Fernández conveys the notion that there is beauty in all forms of life, even in its most vulnerable stages.

Wilting sunflower painting by the Costa Rican Watercolour artist, Ana Elena Fernández.

Ana Elena Fernández, Ocaso, Watercolour on paper

Meet Ana Elena Fernández at Viva el Arte

Visitors to the Viva el Arte art fair will have the unique opportunity to meet the Costa Rican watercolour artist Ana Elena Fernández in person and experience her latest paintings. Her new works continue her exploration of nature, and demonstrate her continued growth and innovation as an artist.

Don't miss the chance to witness the evolution of her distinctive style and to engage with her personally about the inspirations behind her art.

Viva el Arte: A Beloved Event

"Viva el Arte is my favourite fair," explains Fernández. A popular event and one of Costa Rica's longest-running art fairs, Viva el Arte has seen Fernández participate in around 15 editions.

This curated show features participants carefully selected and is sponsored by the Costa Rican supermarket Auto Mercado.


Ana Elena Fernández: A Journey Through Watercolours

When not painting flowers, Fernández captures the serene and often overlooked details of the Costa Rican landscape, continuing a rich tradition of watercolour painting in the region. Her work is deeply personal, often reflecting her life experiences.

She immerses herself in her subjects, exploring them from various angles to unlock a world of artistic possibilities. Her paintings often depict subjects close to her heart, such as the activities of her daughters, cherished locations, or elements that evoke strong emotions.

Driftwood and Bird Nests

Some of Fernández’s pieces feature castaway pieces of driftwood on beaches. She depicts the delicate textures of the wood and the undulating forms and shadows cast on the sand.

At times, she incorporates foliage into the composition or transitions the scene into abstraction, adding a layer of depth and intrigue.

Costa Rica driftwood watercolour on a beach by Costa Rican Watercolour artist Ana Elena Fernández.

Ana Elena Fernández, Yendo A Ningun Lado, Watercolour on paper

Another fascinating body of Fernández’s work centres around bird nests. Much like her approach to driftwood, she captures the fragile construction of nests through watercolour. Occasionally, she enhances these works by incorporating found elements, such as an actual bird's nest, blending natural materials to create evocative and tactile pieces.

Watercolour of a birds nest, featuring found object of a birds' nest, by Ana Elena Fernández. Birds Nest Watercolour painting

Ana Elena Fernández, Vinculo, Watercolour on paper

Costa Rican Watercolour Artist - International Acclaim

Fernández has exhibited her art both domestically, at venues such as the Museum of Costa Rican Art and the National Gallery, and internationally, in countries including Mexico, Colombia, Italy, and Japan. A notable achievement in her career was winning the Watercolour International Biennial in 2012, sponsored by the Alfredo Guati Rojo International Watercolour Museum in Coyoacan, Mexico.

Download Ana Elena Fernández's CV here.

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