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Artist of the Day: Yvette Molina

Oakland, Calif.-based painter Yvette Molina creates lushly layered paintings on sheets of aluminum. These paintings celebrate the beauty of nature while simultaneously exploring its fragility. She is inspired by her observations of flora that she finds in her backyard and her surrounding neighborhood of Oakland.


Yvette's “portraits” of plants and flowers have been garnering steady praise since she began exhibiting in 1997. She has been recognized with an Artist-in-Residence Fellowship at both the Legion of Honor and de Young Art Center in San Francisco, and in the spring of 2005, she was chosen for inclusion in ArtSpan's biennial Selections exhibition.

To read what Yvette has to say about painting on aluminum, and to see a gallery of her stunning paintings, just read more

Yvette explains that:

My paintings are rendered on aluminum for two reasons. The metal surface mounted on an inset wooden frame allows the image to float between the wall and viewer. In this way the panels are an analogue to painting itself as a physical link between the actual world and the perceived world. The metal also has a reflective quality, imbuing the surface with a luminosity. To achieve the desired depth, each painting has 20 to 30 layers of oil paint and tinted glazes. Objects and forms are painted at intervals within the layers, allowing them to occupy various spaces in foreground or background. In making my work, I take inspiration from traditional Chinese landscape paintings and specifically from the reverence expressed in the use of perspective, detail, and compressed range of color. Shrouded layers of cloud, mist, and sky create an indeterminate space in each of my paintings, all of which are open to imagination.

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