Palm Readings

Maru Aponte

See it On Campus: Level 1

Visitor Info

Libby Leshgold Gallery

Award Recipient

Vancouver Art Attack Award – Honourable Mention

Andres en Playa Sun Bay
4.6 x 3.5 ft
watercolour on canvas
  • Palm Readings Project
  • Paintings: watercolour on canvas
  • work on paper
  • Palm Readings Book
  • Bio + artist statement

Thesis exhibition

This thesis project named Palm Readings is informed by entangled topics that take up plein air painting, watercolour as a primary medium and the relationship of colour to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico.

Research questions:

How can plein air painting in the Caribbean function as a form of deep acknowledgement of place?

What is the potential of watercolour as a contemporary artistic medium?

How can colour represent the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico and its culture?

Installation picture of Palm Readings
Verde Tahiti
4.75 x 3.5 ft
watercolour on canvas
Verde Tahiti, Maru Aponte, watercolour on canvas, 4.75 x 3.5 ft
7ft x 6ft
watercolour on canvas
Indicators, Maru Aponte, watercolour on canvas, 2023, 7ft x 6ft
Andres en Playa Sun Bay
4.6ft x 3.5ft
watercolour on canvas
Andres en Playa Sun Bay, Maru Aponte, watercolour on canvas, 2023, 4.6 ft x 3.5ft

I feel like every time I paint, I am asking a question through materials and my artistic method. In this sense I wonder if watercolour is both a noun and a verb. Working with this medium is slippery. It is often dismissed as; not serious, for amateurs, as studies for final paintings in a different medium or as a means to draw rather than paint. Historically, watercolour has been associated with the term ‘Sunday Painters’ which is associated with hobby painters, painters that paint in their spare time or are not academically trained.While developing my Thesis Project it became very important to demonstrate that the medium of watercolour has the capacity to stand on its own, that it is at the level of any other painting medium, that it can function on many surfaces and be a final work and most importantly, watercolour is a medium with the capacity to make innovative artworks in contemporary times.

Palm Readings
5.5ft x 5.8ft 
watercolour on canvas 
Palm Readings, Maru Aponte, watercolour on canvas, 2023, 5.5ft x 5.8ft

Work on paper

Accordion Books made outside in the landscape in the island of Puerto Ric

Plein Air Painting

My artistic method evolves directly from my research questions. I am inspired not only by the history of plein air painting but what it might mean in this contemporary moment. Having spent so much of my formative years in the Caribbean, it is not surprising that I paint outdoors as much as I do. Learning about plein air painting once I left the island has given my practice a context both in terms of art history and Puerto Rico. Plein air painting has made me more aware of my homeland, its history, the climate, and the cultural atmosphere. Working with this method, I have become more aware of what and how I add to a particular location. In this way, I am responsive to what the  landscape adds in my development as a person and as a painter. 

Palm Readings Book

Maru Aponte

I'm seeking opportunities
Contact Me

Maru Aponte is an artist from the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico. Her work investigates color and the unknown results of painting. Through her main medium of watercolor, Aponte explores the potential of watercolor in contemporary times. Watercolor is a mediator and channel that transports her home to the ocean, waterfall, pool, rain and humidity of Puerto Rico. Currently pursuing her MFA at Emily Carr in Vancouver, she studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago for two years and was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the painting department of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.

Profile image of Maru Aponte