Return to work (1978-1982)
She seriously starts to consider returning to her artistic work, with dedication and professionalism, knowing she cannot afford to neglect her children and therefore, her time for art will always be limited. Aware that she has to make up for lost time, she enrolls on the academy of Manolo Arjona, a friend and former classmate at the School of Fine Arts. She will attend his academy until 1981. There, she goes back to her career path and paints live figures and portraits, although she immediately experiments with her own creations, ranging from kinetic art to abstraction.
In order to have her own space to work, she shares a studio with Marisa Moral, Trinidad Irisarri and Pilar Insertis in calle Ortega y Gasset. From that moment on, the first two will become Pilar’s ‘friends through thick and thin’. They will share a second studio and several group exhibitions too.
In November, she takes part in her first group exhibition: a professional meeting in favour of human rights, organized by the Red Cross at the Tiépolo hall in Madrid. She slowly regains confidence in her career prospects.
However, just when she was starting to work with determination and continuity, she has to face a new obstacle. An infection in the index finger of the right hand, her dominant hand, gets worse afterwards with a staph bacteria at the hospital. This makes her stop working for a few months, and she also loses two phalanxes of this finger.
Pilar works with her left hand for some time, while she reeducates the right one, mostly to grab the tools she needs to get into the world of copperplate engraving, as is her intention from 1981 on.
She participates in several contests and competitions specialized in the world of printing, such as the X Premio de Grabado Carmen Arozena [10th Print Award Carmen Arozena] of the Librería Abril [Abril Bookshoop], the Concurso Calcográfico Nacional [National Hand Engraving Contest] and the I Premio de Grabado del Museo Bello Piñeiro del Ferrol [1st Print award of the Bello Piñeiro Museum in Ferrol].
She also participates, with her printings, in group exhibitions such as “Mujeres en el grabado contemporáneo” [Women in Contemporary Printing] at the Centro Cultural Buenavista [Buenavista Cultural Centre], and what was her first international experience, at the Galeria San Paolo [San Paolo Gallery] in Bologna (Italy, 1985).
In December, after showing her work in all those places, with a solid production and more self-confidence as an artist, she dares to do her first exhibition.