La Baja Serena
I grew up in Sonoma County, just north of the SF Bay Area, but I spent a lot of time vacationing all around Baja California. I spent most of my summers with my Grandparents who lived in Southern Baja and I developed a strong connection with the area. At age 11, I went to Guadalajara for school and learned to play the violin from 11 to 15 yrs old. After a few years, at 18 I got married, moved back to California started a family. I worked as a registered dental assistant and eventually became a trauma surgical tech specializing in maxillofacial reconstruction.
After a severe injury I became disabled and was told I could no longer work. In 2013 I moved to Baja California help support my grandmother. I found myself at a major crossroads in my adult life. My children were pretty much grown, I was divorced, and had suffered some very challenging times in my personal life before my divorce of my 2nd husband. I moved to Baja very unexpectedly as opportunities arose. I took a leap of faith. My time spent living in Baja has been a personal journey that is hard to put into words. I spent the 1st year or 2 doing some extreme self reflection. I’ve always had a passion for decor and interior design, often staging homes for real estate brokers and my family and friends.
In Mexico the bull head, or vacas as we call them, are a common staple in decor. They are especially common in the Baja valley wine country. I love that region because it reminds me so much of my home in Sonoma County. After picking grapes and exploring a particular vineyard, I found some Vacas to be abandoned around the ranches. I took one home, cleaned and sterilized it then I just went to work on my 1st piece of work. Taking these discarded pieces of natural history and transforming them into pieces of art gave me such a feeling of accomplishment, honor, and purpose.
After speaking to my loved ones and showing them what I’d created, I went on a roll, creating around 20 works of art in a very short amount of time. Each individual piece gave me a sense of purpose, a particular feeling of honor and respect for the souls that once resided in these skulls. In creating these works, I feel that I’m restoring the honor and dignity to a once living being by highlighting the beauty in their remains.
In my life and my near death experience I always said that if I’m ever left alone after death, and someone were to find my remains, please honor the fact that through every ending is a new beginning, and all life is precious and should be honored. I pray and hope that my art will speak to people, that it will convey that life is a gift and not a god given right. When the breath is gone, the spirit, the soul of all living things lives on. Each piece was created with no particular intention, other than the cleansing of the structure and to show that creation and destruction are one in the same. The spirit takes me wherever I need to go to create the image of that particular piece. Each one of my works is a complete original, never to be duplicated. Not even by myself for like us individuals no 2 are the same.
I don’t create for production or profit. I create to pay homage to life and to say thank you for every breath I’m able to take. This creative process has allowed me to heal from some very traumatic events in my personal life. I hope that as people look at my work, they can see the intention behind each creation. I’ve stumbled upon this gift of mine and I am so humbled and honored to share it with others. I hope it speaks to you and can bring light, love, happiness, honor and respect into your life, your work, and your home, or wherever you choose to display it.
a.k.a. Bajas La Sirena
As we all know not everybody can breathe under water