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“Follow Your Heart”

Painting and poetry is my path to connection and peace.  It offers me the joy of creation and allows me to share beauty and emotion with others. I can reach strangers on an intimate level, while sharing art and elegance from the world that surrounds me.

My work began with mixed media creations: fiber arts, mosaic tiled work, metal sculpture, and jewelry. As my art turned to painting, I evolved towards the “layered abstract expressionism" you see today in my hearts, abstracts, and landscapes. I have been working and selling mixed media and paintings for more than eighteen years. My innovative, whimsical, playful style blends the tactile depth of sculpture (using paint or wall plaster) with the rich tones of acrylics, oils, and 23-karat gold leaf. 

Growing up in a large Italian family in Portland, Oregon, my art and written words are influenced by the passion and expression of my heritage. I thrive on culture, fine cuisine, and travel, having spent time exploring more than 20 countries from Europe, the Caribbean and Central America to all parts of the US. My heart sings the loudest in the Italian, French, and Spanish sunshine. I integrate in my designs the experiences drawn from living in the Eastern, Mid-Western, and Western United States, Hawaii, and the Bahamas. I now live and create in fabulous Santa Cruz, California.

I always revert to painting hearts. My five and a half year old niece, Alexandra Ellis, died of neuroblastoma cancer sixteen years ago. I used to sit in the hospital with her painting hearts and rainbows during her chemo treatment. Thinking of Alex fills me with a treasured joy and keeps me grounded in my work. Alex loved art. She loved bright colors, and so do I. Using accents of gold and iridescent paint adds a sparkle to my art world.

My life is inspired by two themes, and you can find both in my art and poetry. A heart theme in my work expresses the soul-felt theme that guides me: “Follow your heart.”  Iridescent accents and deep contrasting colors carry my personal motto “Live out loud.”

Adventure lies not in the places we seek, but in the moments we create in
the places we treasure. --Rochelle Carr

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