Before language gives the brain memory, Licita Fernandez absorbed the stark, arid landscapes of El Paso, Texas, where she was born and resided briefly before she and her family moved to San Diego. In San Diego, where the desert meets the beach, Licita continued her love affair with the desert as can be seen in her earlier art. She moved to the San Francisco East Bay to finish her education at the University of California at Berkeley. Her career as a professional artist began soon after she graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in art. Never remembering a time when she didn’t identify herself as an artist, Licita began her career as a professional artist in 1974.
Drawing her inspiration from botanical subject matter, especially cactus and other succulents, Licita found watercolor to be the medium that best enabled her to express herself. She found in nature harmony, rhythm, beauty and contrasts. She also discovered she could express happiness, joy, panic, fear, power, foreboding—various emotions, moods and states of being through her depiction of her botanical landscapes. During this realistic period, Licita depended on photographs for her subject matter, but she periodically took a vacation from the intense concentration required of realism to paint from her imagination. These paintings are whimsical, humorous, and fanciful. Some are abstract.
During this period, Licita also created Prismacolor pencil drawings, graphite and ink drawings, often using the same imagery but often diverging into other imagery.
After working in watercolor for decades, Licita tried her hand at acrylics. Although having worked on printmaking (monoprints) and in gouache as well as pastels, acrylics became her favorite means of conveying her artistic vision.
From the beginning of her career, her outstanding color sense makes her art compelling and amazing. All her work shows not only her love of colors and how they work together to create visual candy, but also imbues the viewer with a sense of happiness and humor.
Licita has also spent many years teaching art to people of all ages, from preschool children to seniors.