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!
Tina's Art Beat
Musings of a curious mind
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