Art Vancouver: Artist interview series

Paul Ygartua finds opportunity for artistic expression during pandemic

Paul immigrated to Vancouver from England in 1966 and met his wife very soon after. The pair have spent their entire lives travelling, painting and raising their family. It is a beautiful story that features two very beautiful people at the helm. Watch his interview here.


Paul can paint anywhere; the space is not important. He told me, ‘my ideas are in me, I don’t really need an environment that is conducive to it but equipment is key.’ Paul consumes hundreds of feet of canvas every month and thousands of dollars in paint. Paul works with acrylic paint primarily and will be reintroducing his plexiglass work at Art Vancouver this year with an acrylic finish. Previous to this, the artists’ plexiglass work featured an enamel element. In an attempt to elevate the work and present it in a more contemporary style, Paul has found high quality acrylic paint to replace the enamel layers in the work. The artist uses many different techniques. Each technique needs a different kind of discipline, so therefore detailed work takes a lot longer than a fast, spontaneous abstract technique for example.

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Art Vancouver: Artist interview COVID19 series

Paul Ygartua finds opportunity for artistic expression during pandemic

Under the physical restrictions imposed by COVID-19, Paul Ygartua has been spending each day getting up early, enjoying a coffee with his wife, Joanne, and then working in his studio from nine in the morning until about seven at night.

He views this unique environment as an opportunity, one where he can explore how the virus has influenced society.

“Because it’s such a negative thing, the virus, I had to look at it in a different way,” says Ygartua. “So, first of all, I started approaching it from the point of the heroes, the doctors and the nurses and everyone else. So I started painting it from their point of view. But then I started to think, ‘Wait a minute. What about the virus? I mean, I should paint something to do with the virus.’”

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2020 Online Art Shows

JUNE  2020 


Honouring Art, directed by Elliot Nitkin as part of his endeavour for the art community he has an On-Line Art Gallery with several ongoing exhibitions-see below Ygartua Shows


Introduction to Ygartua Online Gallery



“UNDER SIEGE – The Lions – Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, Canada”

Acrylic on Canvas 48X6O” (121X152cm)  $6,OOO.OO

“…In a globally-connected world, we are obligated to each other to find a solution, to share our discoveries and work together to conquer this unbelievable, unimaginable beast.

To all our doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and all our essential workers out there, we appreciate you and thank you.


Acrylic on Canvas   84″ x 48″

“Guernica – as the subject matter relates to the Basque Country and the Civil War it is personal and a topic of conversation for all Basques.”

“…Guernica is a large 1937 oil painting on canvas by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso.  One of Picasso’s best known works, Guernica is regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.  It is exhibited in the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid. Ygartua’s journey to the Imaginary Global Kingdom of COVID-19 takes a turn, now visiting some of the most prestigious museums in the world.   “Guernica” is on exhibition at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain.

Paul Ygartua was greatly influenced by Picasso in many aspects – his heritage is Basque, his Father attained political asylum in England due to the Spanish Civil War and felt the personal suffering of an expatriate. It was the same deep rejection of one’s patriarchal country that Picasso felt when he left his homeland and rejected his country because of the atrocities of the civil war.  Picasso reacted with retaliation when he created his masterpiece Guernica.  Commissioned by the Paris government for the 1937 World Fair in Paris. It expressed his deepest sentiment towards all people at times of bereavement..”