Arts & Entertainment

The Spanish painter approaching his 110th birthday, brush in hand

Vigo, Spain, Feb 9 (EFE).- In 1912, the Titanic sank, the First Balkan War erupted, Robert F. Scott reached the South Pole and, among many other things, Luis Torras Martínez was born in Vigo, northern Spain.

This year, Torras is approaching his 110th birthday as the world’s oldest active painter.

He still lives in Vigo, with his wife María Jesús, who laid down her paintbrush at the age of 100.

In a house adorned with dozens of their creations, Torras gets up every morning at 7.30 and sits in front of his canvas. Motivation comes easily to him, he says.

“The desire to excel. No-one stands still. You have to improve, you always have to improve. That is enough to paint,” he tells Efe from his studio, surrounded by oil paints and easels.

He mixes the paints himself, in search of the exact colors he needs.

“It’s complicated, it’s not the same as buying the little tubes. I create them all from pigments,” he adds.

“Painting, it’s my life,” he says.

Much of his work can be found in the local Casa das Artes in Vigo, which has a Torras Collection, but he also features in Madrid’s iconic Reina Sofia and the Santiago Museum of Contemporary Art.

He cites Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca as a source of inspiration, especially his use of light in his frescoes, but also El Greco and Leonardo da Vinci, whom Torras terms “super painters.”

Torras talks to Efe in the center of his living room, standing up and animated, although accompanied by deafness he suffered during the Spanish Civil War.

His focus now is to keep painting each day and, if possible, keep improving. He hopes that people will continue to talk about painting, and his story, next year as he approaches 111, no doubt sat in front of a canvas, paintbrush in hand. EFE


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