I paint because of a deeply rooted desire to create something that expresses deep emotion. A retrospection of loving, giving, risking, suffering. Painting allows me to relax, daydream, escape from the demands of family and work. It is my retreat, my sanctuary.
I was born into a very creative and emotionally charged family. Santiago, Chile is my birthplace. My family is made up of painters, dancers, opera singers. It was the natural thing to do, to dance and paint. I came to the USA in 1972 at the age of 9 when my mother, fearing the inevitable military takeover of the Augusto Pinochet regime, sent my brother, sister and I to Seattle to live with a distant aunt. We were to be here six months, until things settled down in Chile. We never went back.
We were raised in a mystical, enigmatic household, my mother and great grandmother always alluding to a spiritual world not bound by any religion, connecting us in life and death.
I paint women that breathe and feel and suffer and love. I try to capture the inner pictures of their souls, their journey ... and I try to convey an overall sense of a deeper notion. These paintings evolve on their own, with their own expression. I usually have the pose in mind, but the colors and surrounding elements come together as I paint. The background of my paintings have parts of poems I have written or just words that come to mind as I paint .
“… our eyes sting with the moisture of blood - laced tears.
… as our soul feels the brush of wings forming.
Only in dreams do we attain love weightlessly.” – Claudia Johns
Images of doves and wings started appearing in my work after the death of my mother. Angels and doves suggest hope, nurturing, protecting and spirituality. Along with a very bright color pallet, I use texture. I love the unpredictable element it adds to painting. I weave together images with anything I find that can leave an imprint like the inside of a car transmission or mesh.
And so I paint. In the midst of living I paint about life, the suffering, the hopes, the disappointments. I try to transcend reality by painting the imagined. And what I leave behind is my thoughts on life and death.