Artweek Magazine, Vol. 25, No. 7
April 7, 1994
Woman of Love and Integrity, 1991
Gouache on handmade paper
25 x 19 in.
My artwork revolves around my dual experiences as a woman and Chicana living in the late twentieth century and studying the ancient Indigenous traditions of Mexico and the Americas. I have worked to discover woman in her modern and ancient place as a source of strength, love and integrity. I believe that all women are a part of the earth and can be inspired by relationship with and through nature.
My images are dedicated to the view of women as understood in Chicano-Indigena cultural and spiritual concepts. Over the last fifteen years, I have studied and worked within Mexicano, Chicano and Native American cultural and ceremonial traditions. It is my belief that artists must integrate their life experiences into a consolidated whole in order to produce an imagery true to themselves and to the message that they are to share with their audience. It has taken fifteen years for me to accomplish this.
In 1978, I began my study with Flores de Aztlan, a Chicana dance troupe, and I worked with Flores de Aztlan for seven years; I now participate in many indigenous ceremonial events throughout California and the Southwest. I have worked to consolidate a definition of woman within the framework of my Mexicano/Chicano knowledge, and have chosen the concepts of “Woman as Lands cape,” “Woman and the Tree of Life” and “Woman of the Midnight Sky.” Over the past five years, within these working titles, I have produced a series of over two hundred paintings, watercolors and gouaches.
I often use the image of the full face, with a background of trees, water, fire and wind to exemplify the most precious aspects of serenity and love within woman. The eyes become the vehicle of these aspects, coupled with the purity of the classical nude form. I also have selected the symbol of dismemberment to describe feelings of loss and loneliness which so many women experience through the death of loved ones, dreams and hope. It is my firm belief that the woman is the symbol of the earth, and that each woman can learn aspects of loyalty, integrity, honor, generosity and courage directly from the earth.