Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Art and Endometriosis Story

My Endometriosis and Art story 

I am a Costa Rican-American artist. I have been painting and drawing since I could pick up a crayon at the age of 3. Because I was able to draw and paint much more realistically than my counterparts my parents encouraged and supported my talents by placing me in private art classes. I eventually made it to AP ART my senior year of high school. I then went to Baylor University with an art scholarship. 

I attended Baylor University initially double majoring in Studio Art and Biology, two very demanding majors. This was about the time my endometriosis pain started to hit full force. Causing me to have to graduate a year late. On top of the physical pain I was enduring, academically I was finding college art (or maybe more specifically Baylor art classes) a bit limiting and constraining; and ended up completely turning away from art all together. So like most fickle college students, I ended up switching my major and I dropped art. 

Upon graduating in 2005, I entered the corporate world and for 6 years I was relatively successful but in the back of my mind, I knew something was seriously wrong. I continued month after month to feel the intense progressively worsening pain of my Endometriosis. The type of pain that would render me useless unable to do anything more than sit in a fetal position with a heating bad, popping Advil like candy. My career was thriving but my health was at an all-time low, the pain getting more and more intense. That was about the time I was finally diagnosed with Stage IV Endometriosis after seeing at least 10 different medical specialist over a span of 8 years and all of them telling me it wasn't endometriosis. My diagnosis led to many major, extensive surgeries. (One of those surgeries being an 8 hours laparotomy which included endometriosis and extensive adhesions getting excised from every surface of my pelvic cavity plus two bowel resections) After that major surgery I was forced to retire early from the corporate world, both my husband and I agreeing I should concentrate on my health. 

While painfully and agonizingly convalescing for a year, I was able to do some deep profound soul searching, ultimately leading me to pick up a paintbrush again after almost 8 years. Initially my art was for therapeutic and healing purposes, later evolving on its own into an unexpected career.  Since 2011, I have been trying to pursue art as a full time career and I am loving it. I owe so much gratitude and appreciation to my husband who is allowing me to do what I do.
Presently, my husband and I are on a difficult but hopeful journey in trying to conceive after heart achingly enduring many miscarriages these last couple of years. Since my endometriosis was diagnosed in 2010, meaning it went undiagnosed for over 13 years, the destruction from this benign cancer-like disease wreaked havoc on my reproductive organs. The delay in diagnosis is probably the primary reasons for my recurrent miscarriages.

To fully grasp me as an artist you have to learn specific aspects of my life & personality; my obsessive love of color, my innately introverted personality, my tragic experiences of being a child sexual abuse victim, my present fight against Stage IV Endometriosis (a disease that affects 6% of the women in the world, with the two most common symptoms being extreme pain and/or infertility), my recurrent miscarriages as a result from endometriosis and my lifestyle choice to be a vegan and live as holistically and organically as possible, also as a result of my endometriosis. Going vegan and eating a cleaner diet has done wonders for myself and many other women suffering with the pain of endometriosis. 

Through being vulnerable, raw and transparent in my art, I hope to be able to reach others struggling through the same issues and/or find common ground with others who share my same lifestyle philosophies. Hopefully showing them they are not alone. But, probably more importantly, my art is for me; to help me cope with the past, appreciate the present and be hopeful for the future.
Because of my introverted personality my art serves as my voice. My art is truly a way that I expose my soul to the world without caution or reservation; two things that I sometimes possess too much of. My art defines my entire being. It makes me who I am. It allows me to create. But not JUST to create but to create through letting go, letting go of over-analyzing, letting go of the pain, the guilt, the insecurities, the unforgiveness brought on by being one of those 1 out of 10 women with endometriosis. And in turn, letting in that which simply. is. Accepting with gratitude and joy my present. My art comes from deep within me, a deep, raw and visceral place I usually only visit when creating. 

Yes, I have had to endure some pretty tragic and earth-shattering things but because of all that I was able to find my power through the power in art, in creating, that helped me cope and heal in unimaginable ways, in ways only God could heal. I discovered that through my art, through the process of creating, I directly connect with God, the ultimate creator. Never do I feel more in tune with God, more present, more at peace, then when I am creating. Though, I would never want others to go through what I went through or am presently going through, I am proud of my past and present; and what I have overcame and will overcome. I would not change anything that has happened to me because it’s made me exactly who I am today, the sensitive artist I am today. How could I fully appreciate and be grateful for the multi-colored bursts of joy-filled experiences that have been beautifully sprinkled throughout my life, without also experiencing those dark and desperate times? After all, only when it is dark enough, do you see the stars.
My work may appear random at first, but upon closer inspection there is a common thread of exemplifying the beautifully chaotic. All my work encompasses equal parts of planning and spontaneity; a mix of direct and indirect intention, chance and circumstances. I believe this allows me to constantly be exploring new and different avenues for my work. I believe an artist should not limit themselves by technique or medium. This allows the opportunity for my art, the basic essence of my art to shine through, rather than merely my need to control. I attempt to manifest through conscious and subconscious color choice and stroke, that which is not seen with the naked eye: emotions, imaginations, faith, the soul...
My ultimate goal is to create an interesting work of art that engages people to debate their own interpretations through creating a meaningful dialogue, whether they become a fan or a critic. 
My purpose in life is simple: to create.... but beyond merely creating visual art, I know my ultimate creation will be when I create life

The 11x14 3D shadowbox art is titled “Endometriosis” (PHOTO 1) I deconstructed my original watercolor cutting out the main pieces then built them up in the shadow box. I pierced and wrapped real wire making sure to penetrate the uterus and snake it around the waist and arms in an effort to depict the overwhelming constraint we feel physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I used the red wax I originally used to seal our wedding invitations 6 years ago by dripping it on both the actual watercolor and the frame to mimic blood.

My husband and I agreed that the 3D piece will not be for sale BUT I did create an illustrative interpretation print that is for sale and is PHOTO 2.

You can find that print for sale here:
Please take some time to check out 

My Instagram: 

My Saatchi Art profile:

And My Website: 

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