ARTIST’S STATEMENT

 

I aspire to maintain spirituality in my work, deep feeling that derives from my grandparents, who came from a magical place. My great-grandmother was from Santa Clara, Cuba, and she was the curandera, the spiritualist and the midwife in the Cuban colonia in Ybor City, Tampa, Florida, where I was born. My grandmother, Juana was also a curandera, and taught me that everything in nature has a soul. To her, life itself was magic. To imbue a white canvas with life, to reach that spiritual-magical place—that is the intention underlying my art.


I begin my paintings with a memory, emotion or idea, but at a certain point in the development of the work, the piece takes on a life of its own and may go in a direction other than the one I intended. Fascinated by its mystique, I seem to paint in an altered state. Through this odyssey, I believe the life force emerges in the work. Towards the end of the journey, my hypnotic-like state dissipates and I complete the painting with more conscious intention, sometimes reworking it, again and again.


The act of painting gives me great joy – searching for the right colors and values, applying the expressive strokes. The physical act itself inspires me and I experience deep emotional satisfaction in the process.


I am a figurative painter and captivated by animals, nature, transformation and mystery. I am especially drawn to the eyes, the beautiful variations of tones and values, and above all the emotional impact, likened to the first gaze between the infant and mother - that embracing, interlocking of both mother’s and infant’s eyes, the love and mystery that is revealed.


My early work often dealt with the pain and struggles of the human experience. Over the past two decades, the work has been more autobiographical, exploring memories of my relationships with my grandmother and great-grandmother, whose spiritual lives influenced my creativity. With my move from Los Angeles to New Mexico, in 2009, I am overwhelmed by the silence, space, and the intimacy with nature. I am excited and inspired by these newly emerging qualities in my current work. My palette is becoming brighter and lighter, reflecting the intensity of the natural environment surrounding me. The figures now relate to nature as much as they relate to one another. I feel my grandmothers’ presence through my own relationship with nature and now more fully understand the spiritual, magical place that they inhabited. This is the world that I yearn to recreate.

MENTORS