Artist Statement (2015) for the exhibition Driftless Time at the Crawford County Administration Building in Prairie du Chien.
My desire to paint began at an early age by observing my mother, who is a painter in Brazil. When I picked up her paints and started using them, at thirteen, I felt that I too had the soul of an artist.
I first visited Wisconsin in 1982 when I was eighteen. I stayed with the family of an exchange student, who was from Madison, WI, and who had stayed with my family in Brazil. I enrolled at that time in a painting class with a wonderful and supportive teacher. After several months I returned to Brazil to continue my education and earned degrees in Social Work and Education, but my real passion continued to be for painting. After graduating, I traveled in Europe to Paris, where I visited the Louvre Museum and Georges Pompidou Center, and to Madrid, where I viewed works at the Prado Museum and the paintings of Salvador Dali. After these travels I became even more inspired to paint.
During my initial visit to the United States, I met someone with whom I continued to correspond over many years. Eventually he came to Brazil and we married. We then moved to a small valley farm near Boscobel, WI in 1999.*
My art is part of my identity and my day. Between doing farm chores and cooking and Buddhist chanting, I make time to paint. My paintings are an expression of my life as it unfolds. I use bold colors and simplified, symbolic images on large canvases. I begin by making sketches, and then most of my paintings are completed in one sitting. The true meaning of the work often becomes clearer to me over time. Although many of my paintings include elements of nature, they also investigate one’s essential relationship to the self and to others. I never grow weary of painting. It continues to feed my soul.
Kilsa Baganha Dremsa
*Unfortunately, I lost my beloved husband suddenly and unexpectedly last April, 2018. I have relocated to Madison and have decided to sell some of my paintings at auction.