Holiday Selections | Winter 2018 - Page 13

Northern California has always calmed me and allowed me to reflect on
new ways of interpreting the new found landscape, so I continue to explore.
The first time I drove through the tunnel that opens up to the Yosemite
Valley, I sat and took in something truly amazing and spiritual. I knew I
had to paint it and it took time to understand those sheer monolithic cliffs
and formations carved from glaciers that took millions of years to form.
I could not imagine painting this epic place in a day, so I shot several
photos and returned as often as I could. With some quick studies I began
a series of landscapes in my studio on Treasure Island, an old Navy base
located between two city bridges with a view of Alcatraz and the San
Francisco skyline.
These few paintings reflect perhaps one of the most important chapters
in my creative journey. These representative works of California are my
way of connecting to a place where the land meets the ocean and the rocks
rise from the earth in a dramatic way.
These landscapes challenge me to paint the unfamiliar with newfound
passion inspired by the way water cascades from summits and returns to
the valleys making their way to the Pacific.
I found the impact of our urban footprint on a fragile ecosystem and
then a community of like minded people who have settled these Berkeley
and Oakland Hills and have made it sacred to the thinking man. It is then
that I realize I am a very lucky Navajo man who truly lives in two worlds,
all I can think to do is to create something to honor its majesty.

–Tony Abeyta, July 2016


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