Art has the power to change the world. I really believe this.
We each live within our own microcosms of health issues and big challenges but we also live within a numbing macrocosm of larger global health issues that require our attention because if left unchecked, life as we know it would be consumed. Literally!
As an artist, I think one of my responsibilities is to bring to light and create a presence, a space, to some of those things I question, that I’m curious about or that I understand either from lots of research(I love to research!) or from first hand experience and want to explore deeper.
If, through some of my work, I can manage to engage you by opening your eyes to something you had no idea about, to look at something from a different perspective, shined a light on a subject you are curious about, opened your heart to actually feel something, made you question a preconceived notion, to name a few, then I have done my job.
If you, the viewer, have shared your opinions, perceptions, outlooks and thoughts with me, you have made me grow that much more and made my day for sure! Your feedback is always a gift.
This piece started to conceptualize as I kept hearing about large global epidemics stemming from challenging life conditions, as well as life threatening diseases endemic to sterile(or so I thought)hospital settings.
Disease affects the lives of millions and millions of people. Diseases such as: ebola, zika, cholera, influenza, meningitis, sars, MRSA and other life-threatening, drug-resistant super bugs.
On global diseases we often hear that filthy conditions, overpopulation, contaminated food and water, animal migrations and other big problems are the reasons why epidemics start and to a point, one could almost see why certain areas in the world can develop widespread epidemics. But in a hospital setting? How could this be possible when hygiene, trained professionals and sterile conditions supposedly permeate the hospital landscape?
Well, 8 years ago, I fell victim to a drug resistant super bacterial bug in a world leading hospital. A supposedly impeccable and safe space. Cross-contamination occurred because a caregiver did not wash their hands after going to the bathroom. I was lucky to have an incredible, wise doctor and I pulled through obviously but, for the rest of my life, I will live with the consequences of one careless, seemingly insignificant act of one person who neglected to do the small thing of washing their hands while handling my case under intensive care.
No worries. Life is good and I celebrate everyday as a new day. Everyday is a gift full of new insights and inspirations!
Having said that, tiny actions have big consequences right! Good health doesn’t come free and if you are healthy you can appreciate your gift. Disease is widespread but at least from my view, we each have a hand in either letting it roam freely or halting it.
Whether one is a health professional, a health advocate, a patron or just a citizen living one’s daily life, we each have the capability of making responsible decisions.
This 9’x3’ assemblage I title “Cocci, Bacilli and Spirilla” hangs the 3 basic bacterial shapes in a waterfall-like assemblage painted in golds and reds. Interspersed among them, hang large pieces of glass dripped with red and gold ink.
To detect disease, blood smears are microscopically studied. To obtain smears, often, many uncomfortable and sometimes painful labs have to be done to ensure correct diagnosis. The glass represents not only the obvious blood smear slides but symbolically, as in other work I have done, glass represents the strength, weakness and resilience of the human body.
The interlocking of the bacteria shapes come together to organize and repair the damage. The waterfall-like effect symbolizes the power and magnitude of some of these diseases and how they can bring you down quickly and ultimately terminate you. Why hanging? Because for just one fleeting minute, I felt like hanging the careless person responsible for my perilous predicament. Just being honest.
The gold color is a powerful and healing color in my life and the reds/pinkish tones represent the color of blood which means life flows if it’s kept healthy.
On a last note, someone recently asked me what each bacterial element represented and I realized that each piece is a reminder that it only takes one single bacterium to start a colony so at least please remember to wash your hands often!
Each 8x8 piece weaves textures in acrylic, shells, recycled plastic toys, glass and inks.
CSA Grant Commission 2018
The first layers of shapes using blue, green, lavender, magenta, gold and white colors represent life and ecosystems emerging. With glass I represent life’s fragilities and contrast with rough textures to depict life’s resilience. For the next layers, I went back to each panel and literally covered-up those first layers in an effort to capture some real emotion of sudden loss of life, like the trees that suddenly just got cut down or burned down out of nowhere. It was painful to go through this process, but I did this to extract live emotion. The aggressive motion of cutting and the heat and strength of fire, come through in this layer through the use hot colors and repetitive negative and positive slash-like shapes. The top and final layer holds the lasting fingerprints, the memories, the energy and the random chaos of what’s left in the end.
I am on a second floor, I have 3 huge windows and a ton of work space and wall space!
HERE is a recent article about mount Holly's developing art scene, the Gallery and the studios. More Soon!
Seeking light in This Bizarre World
Acrylic and glass on canvas
The current political climate has me a bit unnerved. This piece interprets feelings of insignificance, in the grand scheme of things, and how I sometimes feel buried underground in a bizarre place.
Cautiously and eagerly I, along with what feels like many people, seek to find the light again and that gives me a sense of comfort.
In keeping with the breath and iconography of my work, I include layers of heavy textures, bright colors and broken glass which represent hope amidst the heaviness and brokenness I feel in my being and in society.
Are times challenging you? Think of colors and textures that bring your world to a halt and then think of colors and textures that rock your world and bring you life! This is what this painting is all about! To make you think about these things. Keeping a pulse on our emotions and thoughts is important but I find so many trying to ruch on to the future that they skip this very important step.
This piece will exhibit at Ciel Gallery throughout the month of September 2017 and is available for sale.
Thank you for reading and stay tuned for continuing posts.
Be true to yourself, always,
Sanctuary of Light, acrylic, ink, gold leaf & collage on canvas in gold floated frame, 30x48. This image represents a space I go to find guiding light. I have so much to be thankful for and this painting pays tribute to that gratitude.
The blue light is the aura that I have seen since I was a little girl and understand fully that its always around me.
The rose colored light is what I feel surrounds me with warmth. It represents the light of a giant pink diamond.
The texture and gold color are always present in my visual healing. I visualize layers of mesh and liquid gold running through me, keeping all my connective tissue together. For those of you who don't know, I was born with marfan syndrome. It is a connective tissue disorder affecting all connective tissues of the body, and its favorite places to create aneurysms and tears are in the aorta, the eyes and the heart muscle. 2 of those 3 are ones I have experienced throughout my life, on several occasions, and because those experiences have been so incredibly intense, my spirit and my mind always dig deep and intensely in order to survive them. You could say, my art is an intrinsic part of my survival. It has always been iconic of finding strength and survival.
Not my typical painting style but this just came to me and felt compelled to do it and share it. There is so much awareness of diseases like cancer, ms, etc so in small ways, if any of you read through this, I have made you aware of a disease that affects 1 of every 5000 people on the planet. A high percentage don't survive an aneurysm.
This piece will be available for sale at Ciel Gallery throughout August 2017.
*freepik created Moroccan setting
For years now, I have noticed that I really love patterns. I love to find them, count them, sort them, color them, reorganize them and so on. I find the act of repetition or repetition itself very centering and very healing. My mind, body and spirit come together as one during these moments of “pattern bonding” and my world of chaos becomes calm.
There is no right or wrong in this process, it’s a pure act, untethered by rules, by judgments, requirements and expectations.
I have come to think of repetition as a form of invocation. Honestly, as I get older and live with this love affair with patterns, I begin to truly understand their power and how meaningful they are in my particular life.
This piece is titled "Halcyon Moments". It hangs nearly 10ft long and about 3 ft wide. I layered acrylic, gold leaf, metal, recycled elements and a variety of viscous mediums. I incorporate pattern, reflective gold, which is an idyllic and healing color in my life, and ungoverned textures capturing moments of serenity which, just like that, instantly become a part of my past and who I am. This piece immortalizes these moments.
hal·cy·on / halsēən/: a period of time in the past idyllically happy and peaceful.
You'll notice 3 different sections defined by a variance in pattern. If you start looking from the bottom and slowly move up you'll notice space opening up and, vice versa as you move down from the top spaces close-up. This is representative our feelings in fluxus, we slowly open-up to arrive at a higher self or the other way around, we close-up and stay locked-in a touch place. From my own experience, there are days I feel closed-up and "go" no where and other days I open up and feel the blossoming. A very personal journey for every person.
My goal with this piece is for you, the viewer, to reflect on where you "go" to find your own halcyon moments.
On some of the backs of each gold component, there are self healing words, some came from me and others came from contributors. I really love infusing my work with community energy. It helps take a piece on a journey and come to full circle.
I will be showing this piece for the first time at Ciel Gallery through the month of July. It is not for sale but rather I am actively looking for a permanent, public site for it to hang so if you have any ideas, please pass along.
Thanks for reading and go find your halcyon moments!
I have been challenged to skew a master for an upcoming show at Ciel Gallery (click for event HERE).
What a fun experiment! Below are a just a few words about each of the 2 pieces so if you have the opportunity to see them in person, you will have had a little insight first. They will both be on view for the first time and are available for sale.
"Climbing Out of a State of Mind" by Tina Alberni
Wassily Kandisky associated colors and shapes with sounds, and found harmony in his juxtapositions of geometric shapes. His work incorporates various archetypes and elicits deep observation from his viewers in order to make connections. As a synesthete myself, I resonate deeply with Kandinsky, his color associations and use of archetypes.
Fulfillment, C1905-1909. Working Drawing
for Stoclet Frieze, by Gustav Klimt
Yellow, Red and Blue, 1925 Oil on canvas by Kandinsky
So do you have any thoughts? Please feel free to share and thanks for reading!
If you are local, maybe I'll see you at the show!
As part of Ciel Gallery's collective, I am participating in Ciel's silent auction this year by donating an original. All funds raised will go to the Arts & Science Council, an organization I have benefited greatly from.
This is a great opportunity to get your hands on an original for a great price while also helping out many artists. Click HERE to get details on how to bid online for all the art available. If you live out of State, special shipping arrangements will be made.
Persisting and Channeling Light both mixed media lithographs, spawned from the current socio-political dialectic, combining simultaneously with seeds of hope and positivity, where love, light, wisdom, knowledge and the rest of goodness prevails.
Accepting change is not always easy but often when you manage to do it, it is quite refreshing and usually a growth experience.
I am all about opening my mind to broaden perspectives, learn new things, and see things from different lenses. However, when the changes are major, numerous, all at one time, and you just do not resonate at any level with any of them, I take a long pause. Living in a time of never ending flux of uncertainty is rattling me in a way I think I’ve never experienced before.
When I was growing-up, time lasted forever, fresh water, fresh air, freedom, nature, animals, etc where all a given. In my view, they were permanent “staples” of the earth that would always be abundant and in endless supplies. I mean I just couldn’t imagine our planet without them. I never took things for granted though. From a young age, I was quite aware of poverty and hunger and understood clearly that I was privileged. I couldn’t fully comprehend how some had so much and some had so little, but it was evident that those who lived on the fringes struggled to have those staples. Nonetheless, the staples existed abundantly.
As time has passed, we know the amount of people living on earth has swelled to a point of no return, so the exploitation of earth and all it has to offer, has multiplied exponentially. In my middle age, as much as I retreat from letting any sense of doom and cynisism creep into my life, it continues to linger.
For the first time ever, I do feel threatened. Mind you, I am quite familiar with the sense of threat. I have been robbed, chased by scary people, experienced natural disasters, economic downfalls, life threatening car accidents and health issues and so on, yet this ominous sensation I am experiencing is on a different level. My defensive instincts seem to be in full force.
I am not a violent person. I won’t rise in arms. I don’t like the spotlight and my usual position in life is very positive and neutral on all fronts; I don’t take sides and really try looking at things objectively no matter who or what the circumstance. So, this feeling is quite new to me. It is revealing, quite firmly, where I draw the line when my values, fresh air, fresh water, food and freedom are vulnerable. I suppose this is a good thing to really know. Asserting my point of view so publicly is just something I have refrained from. I know I express things through my art and have asserted my views but they have always remained behind the artwork, never at the forefront.
As you all know, for some years now, people around the world and now, very much so, again in the U.S., continue to unite for important causes. Some people get vocal, some march, some pray, some tap into divine energy, some work behind the scenes, some get physical, some preach, and so on. Love, light, wisdom and knowledge, among other things, have perhaps, as a culture, been swept under the rug a bit, but now have the opportunity to come out and thrive.
“Persisting” and “Channeling Light” both mixed media lithographs, spawned from the current socio-political dialectic, combining simultaneously with seeds of hope and positivity, where love, light, wisdom, knowledge and the rest of goodness prevails.
One can do nothing, which according to native beliefs is still doing something; it means we are passively accepting and agreeing with the decision to do nothing or one can take action, trusting one's core values and beliefs. We have a choice.
My art will continue to be the vehicle of my expression and I am working hard to continue trusting that there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. If anything, the current ‘climate” of world issues is bringing so many people together and that is a very good thing. Perhaps the darkness will implode and all will be on a better path in the end.
How are you feeling and approaching things considering our current state of affairs?
Thanks for reading and now back to my studio!
Embracing the unthinkable and turning it into my inspiration...
In the early days of my art career, I started out exploring realistic portraiture and the figure. In time, I soon discovered the organic and geometric abstract worlds and have never turned back.
Through the years, I have explored just about every media out there and have to say I love them all, and sometimes wish I could live nine times longer so I could explore each one in depth.
As many artists, my work has evolved and gone through different phases. I can feel a new phase coming through! Yes!
Within a blink of an eye, and after 18 years or so, my work phased out from organic shapes and started finding hard, geometric edges infused into very deeply textured surface treatments, and an explosive palette of colors. The start of a new and long love affair for sure!
After several years of painting geometric abstract, I have to say that for a few months now, I am finding my way back to those organically flowing shapes again, and I know exactly why, and I’m thrilled to come full circle!
Here’s the story…
For about 18 years or so, my work was of limited palette and very organic in nature; not only in shapes but also in my methodology…working with the flow and reacting to shapes as they came through. That methodology remains true to me today and will likely remain with me until I can no longer create. I think it is because that is also how I live my life…I take it as it comes. I move forward and just don’t look back.
I was 18 when I first started my college level art courses. A few of my very first works were explosive and full of red for some reason. At 20, an aortic aneurysm nearly took my life, but thanks to great developments in open-heart surgery, I survived. At such a “Spring Chicken” age, I was so incredibly grateful to the gift of life but at the same time, a bit angry and fearful for having a genetic condition that affects all connective tissue in my body…essentially, this condition called marfans, suddenly had all my attention and inevitably became my source of inspiration. I understood on a very deep level, that to survive the challenges of having a life threatening condition for as long as I lived, the challenges I had already experienced were just the tip of the iceberg of what was possibly, to come.
Somehow, I, unintentionally, manifested strength of tissues and muscles through my organic work. Each time I was drawing or painting, I found myself layering interconnected, tissue-looking and muscle-like imagery throughout. I didn’t plan this, it just kind of happened and so I flowed with it because somehow, it resonated greatly. It just became a super source of strength to literally keep it all together!
In 1999, a student found a number in an abstract I was sharing with the class relative to an art history lesson…I had never even seen the number so when it was spotted, it seemed curious at the time…the number was clearly 32…well, I never thought much of it but, a handful of years later, at age 32, I had an aortic dissection which nearly did me in…weird but…hmmm…Subconconcious prediction??
In 2010, I had 2 aneurysms, which required 2 back-to-back crazy, scary surgeries and 2/3 replacement of my aorta…Lord!!! That was no fun! I obviously survived and my artwork then took a huge shift again, now delving into the opposite world of hard edge and geometry, and reaching out to all colors of the spectrum, and all textures I could come-up with. Again, I did not choose this path, it chose me. I flowed.
This work, I know now, literally provided physical strength and fortified spirit. The repetitive geometric structural elements became a form of “prayer” and represented gratitude and the mesh-like textural elements literally held me together. In a sense, layer-by-layer, “my geometric walls”, in my paintings, represented survival and told a story. Yes, I know, for most, this series was just about “houses”…this series was actually, also deeply connected to my roots and experiences as well. Growing-up in a third world country exposes one to all sorts of circumstances that also become deep inspirations. Barrios and the people in them were deeply in my life so the symbolic geometry is very linked to vivid life experiences for sure.
In September 2016, after a 6-year battle with a scary, baffling “mystery” in my chest bone, I had open heart surgery again, and yes it was a total bear…but, amazingly, I’m still here, and wouldn’t you know, my art has taken yet another dramatic shift!
I am back to the organic, flowing shapes but this time, my palette is quite expanded and I can’t wait to continue in this phase to explore the endless possibilities! My first of what I hope will be many is “Burgeoning” , Acrylic on Canvas, 24x36 on Exhibit at Ciel Gallery during this month, January 2017
It is obvious to me that there is a common thread, a common source of inspiration, which is my spirit and its connection with my physical self.
My strength of wellbeing is most certainly, directly related to my creative spirit. My art expresses my spirit and manifests strength in all its forms. I am absolutely sure that I still breathe because I have tapped-in to something very deep via my art. No “woo-woo” here trust me!
It is the depth and breath of this genetic condition that has taught me that life, just like a building structure or a skeleton, depends on the health of its structure. By embracing our own challenges/limitations, good things can happen if one nurtures body, mind and spirit in the form that resonates.
To my collectors, I hope this sheds some light as to how my work is connected and has evolved over the years.
Flow with the tide, create away or do what fills your heart everyday!
©2018 Color by Design Studio
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