Ricardo Estella demonstrates the size of the salmon he used to catch while working on a ship in Alaska many years ago.
In the Studio

#StoriesBehindtheArt: Ricardo Estella

Posted on June 8, 2017

Ricardo Estella is a jovial presence in the Creativity Explored studios - quick to laugh and to make others laugh. Below are his comments on a few of his favorite artworks.

(1) "I grew up in the Phillipines. My father was also from the Philippines, and he was a painter and a sculptor. He was my teacher, my father. My mother was an artist, too. She was a painter and a sculptor, too. When they both passed on, they had already passed their gift to me. Ever since then, I’m the one who holds the torch for them.

(2) "I’m living in Haight-Ashbury. This is my psychedelic building! God, I can’t believe that I still have the touch of making such colors. It’s amazing I can do that. Really, my father taught me everything. He would have a big canvas ready, and when I come home from school, after I did my homework, he would have me paint. Starting when I was 8 years old."

(3) "Many years ago, before I started here, I used to work in Alaska, and we used to catch a lot of red salmons. We would be gone for nine months, out to sea, and they used to feed us good food there. Our ship was called the Viking Star. That was the name of our big barge fishing boat. We used to catch tuna and red salmon. They were really big."

(4) “This is my favorite ceramic. It should be on the cover of a catalog. Mean old ferocious werewolf. Whatever you do, don’t bite nobody!”

(5) “That’s my little porky pig. I call him Bacon He hates being called Bacon. You know why? Because he doesn’t want to be cooked! He just wants to be spared his life. But don’t worry, if I had a pig, I wouldn’t kill him. I’d just go down to the butcher, because I would raise my pigs, male and female. I’d like being a farmer. I used to work before on a farm in Half Moon Bay. My job there was to take care of horses and all the chickens, and get all the eggs, and put them in the basket. And then I bring them in the kitchen and have them all washed, and then put them all in the box. Many years ago.”

(6) “These are my smiling skeletons. They like to smile. They don’t like to be mad. They’re all a little different. It’s not so hard to make a skull.” 

(7) Estella’s advice to artists: "What artists should do when they paint, they need to take the time not to rush things. If you want the painting to come alive, from inside bring it outside. That’s the trick in painting.  From inside of me, I bring it outside to the painting. That’s the way you should release your spirit to the painting. The painting happens to be your baby once you make it. It’s a part of you because you made the painting yourself. That’s the way I do my paintings."

(8) “Wow, look how I combined it all together. I don’t know how I did it! I just used my imagination!”


(#StoriesBehindtheArt is a social media series spotlighting Creativity Explored artists. Follow us Twitter and Instagram. Like us on Facebook! All artworks © Creativity Explored Licensing, LLC)



(1) Dragon (Detail) by Ricardo Estella, 2014
(2) Psychedelic Building (Detail) by Ricardo Estella, 2014
(3) The Viking Lady Ship (Detail) by Ricardo Estella, 2014
(4) Werewolf by Ricardo Estella, 2013
(5) Good Old Porky Pig (Detail) by Ricardo Estella, 2014
(6) Skeleton (4) by Ricardo Estella, 2013
(7) Mountain Near the Sea (Detail) by Ricardo Estella, 2017
(8) Abstract (Detail) by Ricardo Estella, 2014

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