Aniko Hencz is a Hungarian artist with a well developed distinctive style, her work focuses across the elements of our built environment through her cityscape paintings, whilst bring her love of the natural world to the canvas through her landscapes and nature based paintings.
Aniko has been drawing and painting ever since she could hold a pencil in her hand. During her school years she was fortunate to be taught painting and drawing by some excellent artists, who showed her the first steps in creating art.
Most of Aniko's works are inspired by nature and personal feelings which end in abstract or conceptual paintings and drawings - it all depends on her mood. Her favourite technique is oil, but also paints with acrylic, watercolor and ink. Her work has featured in solo and group exhibitions in both Hungary and Austria, whilst her artworks are in private collections all over the world.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
I can’t recall the day I created my first painting… it was long ago, when I was in kindergarten. That was the first time I was painting with watercolour. I can’t remember the subject, only that endless satisfaction and excitement that surrounded me while painting.
How would you describe your own personal style?I’d like to know my personal style is unique and I believe it is something between semi-abstract-impressionist-abstract.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
It came by itself… I just like abstraction and I think this will remain in the future, too.
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
Nature inspires me the most. I have a passionate love for landscapes and trees, but I can not hold back myself from painting houses, too. A group of trees, flowers or houses, their interesting shapes, angles and colours are also great inspiration for me.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
I love many painters such as Hieronymus Bosch, Sándorfi István, Hundertwasser, Gauguin and I admire Japanese art in general. My husband and close friends encouraged me and they still do when I’m a bit down.
When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?
My preferred medium is oil, but some feelings can be easier expressed by me with watercolor. I also like to draw, mostly with black and coloured ink. I like to experiment with mediums. I sometimes combine them, or try new ways for using them. I love to break the rules and mix them in my own way.
When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?
The theme can be anything – if I see something on the street, a photo on the internet or just walk out in the garden… Anything around me can be inspirational, a spot of colours, an interesting detail of a street, the light and shadow over the grass, through the trees – anything.
Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?
Sometimes I make sketches or I have everything in my head, other times I am staring at the white canvas for days. Then I pick a brush and begin to paint. Sometimes the result is what I imagined, other times something different, which I keep if I am satisfied with it.
Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is it more a case of when the moment is right you work?
As my studio is at home, I must be very strict with myself to not let every-day tasks distract me from creating art! For me, ideas come mostly in the afternoon or in the evening. This is the time I make sketches or develop my ideas in my mind. Then it is easier to put them on paper or canvas the next day.
When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?
I usually work on more pieces at once. I make watercolours till the oil painting is drying for the next layer or draw something with ink. Sometimes my mind works on a new piece while finishing the painting in progress.
How has your art evolved to be where it is today?
During the years I painted portraits, still life and landscapes as well in many mediums. I gave up charcoal and pastels, but stuck with watercolour, oil, ink and started to use acrylics lately. Sometimes my mood, other times the theme is which determines the medium I work with on a day.
Which of your artworks are you most proud?
I couldn’t choose one, they all are like my children – I work on every piece till I am satisfied with the result – be it small or large.
If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?
Cubism and impressionism for sure!
What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?
To be noticed among the many more artists and be accepted even if you don’t have a protégé.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?
Perseverance, patience and tenacity and never give up!
Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?
I am also attracted toward symbolism and surrealism. They have a story and anything can happen in these paintings – even a giraffe burning with no harm.
We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?
Knowing when enough is enough is the hardest part… I sometimes finish a painting, but next morning I find some itsy-bitsy part I don’t like and I feel I must correct it… well, sometimes this leads to spoiling the painting… Of course I have re-re-repainted works, but only those in oil or acrylic. Watercolour needs special skills, they can seldom be "corrected”.
Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expressing your creative nature?
I think this is left to the artists’ judgement and it depends on their inner world. I personally like to express my feelings and try to interpret the world that surrounds us these days.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a large acrylic and some smaller watercolours.
When is your next exhibition? Is it a solo or group exhibition? Could you tell us a little about the exhibition, when and where it is?
I have no plans to exhibit right now - these days, under the pressure of the pandemic nothing is sure, so I better concentrate on online galleries.