Artist Alfonso Huerta did not set out to become a printmaker. In fact, he resisted the idea as long as he could. He studied art in his native Mexico in the late 1990s, and focused on painting. But his focus eventually changed after he moved to Austin.
"I met this Argentinian teacher, and she introduced me to printmaking," Huerta says. "At the beginning, I wasn't interested at all in printmaking because I was very happy just doing paintings. And one day, she just came with a piece of linoleum... with some carving tools, and she said, 'Just do something. Whatever you want.' And I started carving."
Huerta was quickly hooked.
"Let me tell you, carving is like a very, very healthy addiction," he says. "And since then... I make like one or two paintings a year and most of my stuff is just printmaking. I never expected that, and it's really beautiful."
Huerta still works in linoleum, he says, but these days he prefers to carve in wood or copper. His prints are each hand-colored.
"I love colors, and I like to create colors," he says. "[You] put one color on top of each other, and you create colors, and that gives you a very beautiful blend of colors."
Huerta's work tends to include a Mayan influence, which is an aspect of his art that grew from his illustration work on the book Maya Gods and Monsters: Supernatural Stories from the Underworld and Beyond.
"Before that, my work was Mexican, but not exclusive to Mayan themes," Huerta says. "It was more like Mexican objects."
This summer, he'll be showing several of his works -- including prints, paintings, and watercolors -- in the gallery space at Paris in a Bite. He's happy to be able to share his art with Austinites who might not have seen his work.
"Usually I work in [the] east side of Austin," he says. "And many people know me there... but [on] the other side of town, I don't people have the chance to go and see [my] art. And I think it's going to be a good chance for me to show my art in that part of town."