No place like home – for inspiration
Background: I was born May 12, 1966, in Montebello, California, and raised in West Phoenix. I currently reside in Tolleson. I’ve been married almost 23 years and have three teenagers. I am the assistant production manager of the art department at the West Valley View newspaper in Avondale.
Sometime in my teenage years I became interested in art, I loved to draw and would stay up all night long drawing. I was inspired by lowrider arte and murals. Also, when I was very young, I watched my dad sketch out characters for fun, maybe thats why I thought I could draw. I grew up listening to my dad and uncles play and sing songs in Spanish that had very passionate lyrics. They motivated me to express a similar passion in my art. When I hear music, especially the guitar, I’m always moved to start drawing or I get an idea for a painting.
Training: In many respects, I consider myself a self-taught, mixed-media artist because of my lack of fine arts training and continual experimentation. In the early 1990s, I attended Platt College in California, a private commercial art school. I’ve been involved in this kind of art production professionally since then; I’ve worked with ad agencies, manufacturers, printers and publishers. However, I have gained a lot from organizations like Xico Arte y Cultura in Chandler and Art League West in Avondale because of the demos and workshops they put on for artists and members. I also learn from my artist friends by taking part in events together. I mostly paint with acrylics on canvas, but I love mono-silkscreening, murals and wood-burning.
Career Highlights: In 2004, I did two tribute paintings: The Verdugos, (my dad and uncles playing their guitars) and Cati Lomeli (my father-in-law, a mariachi, playing his violin). I painted these for my kids as a reminder of our family heritage and musical culture. That really set me on the path to painting more consistently. I started placing my work in art festivals and galleries and I haven’t stopped since. In 2012, I was invited to be one of the “Phoenix Fridas,” an art collective of diverse female artists inspired by the triumphs and tragedies of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
Influences on your work: My art is greatly influenced by Hispanic culture and my family background. Many of my paintings feature portraits of musicians and folklórico dancers and Dia de los Muertos images using bold and vivid colors. When it comes to personal themes, I’m inspired by the images of Frida Kahlo, and religious themes are also very present in my work.
Future plans and professional goals: I plan to complete and exhibit new work by the end of this year. New in my art are themes of baseball players, inspired by my husband and sons and their passion for the game.
Current or future exhibits:
Avondale City Hall
11465 W Civic Center Dr., Avondale
West Valley Arts Council
13243 N. Founders Park Blvd., Surprise
The Phoenix Fridas summer exhibit