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Born -1959: Los Angeles, California Resides: La Quinta, California
Painting is my life long spiritual practice as well as a craft I continually develop as images come to me to be realized. Like a musician, I move between styles, themes and concepts as I explore my imagination with paint, charcoal and other mediums. My life and my art are one.
I've been an artist for more than a few decades. Over time, new styles emerge from my fingertips. I don't entirely leave my older styles behind when I am in love with my newest work. Like replaying a favorite old song, I dip back into past styles now and then when I need the language they shape to express myself in the present moment.
Born in Los Angeles in 1959, I grew up at the beach and spent time in the mountains. As an adult, I lived in the Pacific Northwest town of Bend, Oregon for 30+ years, first on a ranch east of town, then near the Cascade mountain range on the west side of Bend. Now I'm a bit of a nomad with a home base in the Mojave Desert town of La Quinta, California.
I began my professional artistic life at the age of 14, painting signs for the local ski area near my family's summer cabin in Big Bear Lake, California. A long, winding road later, I had paid for my University of Oregon Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, painting window watercolor signs for merchants. All of those roadside paintings of lucky fishermen, a variety of Santas and other seasonal images led to a stint as the lead lettering and mural artist for Carlson Sign in Bend, Oregon. I painted roadside billboards 12' tall by 24' wide, 40 hours per week for a few years. It was a good living that left me 3 days a week to practice life drawing and experiment with painting mediums.
Computer imaging became the end of the billboard/mural painting business. I got a position teaching art classes at Central Oregon Community College in 1991 and continued teaching for 5 years as I developed a business as a ceramic tile designer/manufacturer. For about 10 years I sold my Cristina Acosta "signature line" of ceramic tile through retailers like Ann Sacks Tile & Stone and Home Depot Expo.
Commercial and fine art melded for me. My artisan tile images led to my "Paint Happy" easel style, which morphed into an art instruction book. I wrote and painted, Paint Happy! (North Light Books ©2002, 2004). The publication of Paint Happy! led to licensing those images into home decor, illustrating a few children's books and gallery exhibits. I kept my eye developing with explorations of different painting styles, delving into the traditions of plein aire painting, then diverging into multi-medium metallic work.
Meditation became part of my work along the way and now I experience my artistic process as flow. The world has changed quite a bit during this past century and I am still painting.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, "Ars longa, vita brevis / art is long, life is short," the familiar Latin translation reverses the order of the original lines, stressing the long-lasting impact of art over the brevity of life. In my sixth decade, I very much feel that truth. Beneath everything is love. That is the true substrate under-pining all of my work.
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The natural world. A walk on a beach, through a forest, swimming or paddling a freshwater river or lake or the ocean. I have spent a lifetime bathing in nature.
Classical drawing and painting techniques are my foundation. Exploration and experimentation are my process.
Creating art both on and off of my easel, including: Gallery exhibits, writing & illustrating, ceramic tile, licensing, teaching, billboard murals, interior design & architectural color expert.
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