What are the moments that have inspired and continue to inspire Eudes Correia on his creative journey?
Originally from Brazil, Eudes Correia is a watercolour artist currently living and working in Lisbon. With a true lust and appreciation for life and all its moments – from the calm of the sea to the frenetic energy of urban centres – Correia draws from a seemingly endless well of inspiration to help guide his practice.
Starting by walking through the streets of Lisbon with a camera and a sketchbook, Correia’s most recognisable watercolour style takes ordinary people and transforms them into the celebrated protagonists of his pieces. Working in layers and never being afraid to exploit or enhance subtle mistakes that happen during the watercolour process, his work displays a captivating blend of precision and spontaneity.
We visited Correia in his studio to hear how different moments have and continue to influence and impact his unique watercolour journey. Watch the full interview below.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m an artist who’s passionate about watercolour. I moved to Lisbon because I wanted to live a season in Europe, and Portugal was the most accessible country for me because of the language and culture – it is very similar to that of Brazil.
Can you describe what a typical day looks like coming to and from your studio?
Usually, my day doesn’t start until 10am. I like to go out in the city without a plan and never know where I’m going. I like the surprises that happen at that time. I always walk with a small camera and with my sketchbook. When I return home, I like to see the photos, choose what interests me and then I usually make small watercolours. I like to play the guitar and sing during this process, and I’ll usually accompany it with a glass of wine. When I like one painting in particular, I set it aside for a larger, more detailed piece. These are usually sent to exhibitions.
What are the biggest inspirations or influences that have shaped your practice?
One of the biggest inspirations of my childhood was my brother. He was a sketcher and my idol. But then I met the work of the great masters of the past, like Caravaggio, DaVinci, Michelangelo, Sargent, Salvador Dali, Picasso. And with the internet, I went on to meet some masters like Zbukvic, Charles Reid and others. I like the beautiful, I like the art that impresses me with its complexity or simplicity. From a simple magazine illustration to a work by Caravaggio. I like the complexity of the classic and the spontaneity of the abstract. Everything I have lived through my life, and all my professional experiences, have been forming my practice.
Can you describe how you use watercolours in your practice?
I usually paint my watercolours in two layers. The first layer I use to make fusions and colour connections to create volumes and stains. At this stage, I work more expressively, my brushstrokes are more water laden, and I explore the accidents of watercolour. In the second layer, I work the shadows, details, and finishing elements.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given by another artist?
Paint for pleasure, never paint for money.
The moment when someone sees your work for the first time – what would you like them to think or feel?
I’d like them to feel the same emotion that I try to convey through my work. I would like it to be a direct connection.
Are there particular moments when you feel most inspired?
God is my main source of inspiration. Life inspires me. The sun, the rain, the sea, nature, animals, flowers. Urban chaos inspires me. The waves of the sea too. There are moments when I feel so inspired that the desire to paint is almost uncontrollable.
It is as if the art wants to be born and can no longer wait. It needs to get out of me and take on a life of its own.
What is it about watercolour that made you choose it as your primary medium?
For me, watercolour is the most interesting medium that exists. Watercolour is alive. It works in partnership with the artist. It is extremely impressive, unpredictable, yet very practical.
How have you found the last 12 months from the perspective of creative output?
Since my work has always been about travelling and participating in workshops and exhibitions, the first six months of staying home felt like a vacation. But then it became uncomfortable because I’m inspired by contact with people, seeing people, and walking the streets. That all ended with Covid. However, after those first six months, I created a new way to be inspired. I started walking the streets, going to the beaches, to the sea and in nature to paint in the plein air style. That was very interesting and good for me. Because before I only painted these motifs in sketchbooks. But from then on, I started doing plein air in larger formats. This was a new moment: I felt inspired and went back to the studio to work with the photos I’d take during this exploration and tell a story through the images.
Watch the full interview with Correia in the video above.