Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Illuminating Heaven & Hell

H2 Illuminated: Heaven and Hell, is an image I created back in 2002 for the inspirational artistic resource by the same name. The graphic designer Mark Murphy sent me an invitation to participate in the project. I pondered the idea of Heaven&Hell and in the preliminary stages decided to depict a fairly straight forward interpretation of each. The straight forward approach eventually transformed, like a good alchemic formula.

While at Comic Con I had done a little sketch of a diabolic figure that I rather liked, so that became the starting point.

Here is a little paragraph included in the book with my contribution on how this image was birthed.

"Heaven and Hell represent two poles of consciousness and the mystic journey in between. These dual principles, opposing in nature, may easily be compared to the eastern Yin & Yang. I have noticed that my creative process, whether I am drawing, painting or orchestrating a perfume, is very akin to that of Alchemy, which in turn bears similarities to the ascent from Hell to Heaven. Alchemist theory, according to Jung, stems from the concept of the soul’s transmutation from the dark recesses of the unconscious to illuminating self realization. The process begins in the mystic depths where the serpent dwells, hibernating in the fiery center of the earth. This stage can often feel rigid and constrictive. In order to manifest a forward motion the “will” forces must to be engaged. As I filtered and distilled my ideas for the paintings I was going to create I went to see a show at the Getty Museum titled “Illuminated Choir Books.” The richness of color and symbolic imagery combined with gold leaf inspired me to transform my two paintings into one illuminated “H.” I noticed that the shape of the letter H was perfect for containing one image above the horizontal connecting line and one below. The tree with its symbolic aspects and references to alchemy and growth magically appeared as I was drawing the layout. The energies associated with the traditional concept of Hell are very base and controlling, yet lie within the transformational powers of fire. It is the phoenix which emerges from the subterranean underworld having burnt away what no longer serves. Tennyson wrote: “The shell must break before the bird can fly.” Heaven is the realm of the fluid, it is expansive and orgasmic. This is the home of the divine, associated with angelic beings."

The limited edition H2 Illumianted Giclee is now up on my etsy shop, here is the link:
Roxana Villa at Etsy

I'll post more pictures showcasing how this piece all came together in the next post.

All images are ©Roxana Villa

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sun and Moon

We have moved into the Lunar and Sun phase of Cancer. According to Claudia of Moonsurfing it is a particularly rich time to plant intentions. Cancer rules the fourth house of home, hearth, all things feminine and creativity. Famous Cancers include Princess Diana. My cousin Gaby was born on July 4th in Buenos Aires. She and I are the two black sheep of the family...the Artists. I have quite a number of planets in my fourth house, which is probably why so many perceive me as born under a Cancer Sun.

The image featured above is called Merkaba 112A ©Roxana Villa. Merkaba 112A is digital recreation of a painting created in 1999. The original image was done on prepared gessoed board with acrylic veils of color and measures 10 x 10 in. The digital remake was created in 2003 with the aid of photoshop.
The painting "Merkaba" was created just after seeing the film Contact and listening to a lecture given by Drunvalo Melchizedek in Pacific Palisades, CA.
The original painting and a giclee edition of the digital version is available for purchase.

Mer ka ba

Friday, June 27, 2008

A Whole New Mind

I discovered this on another blog. It resonates very deeply, in fact I was going to write about the importance of story today, so the synchronisity is just too delicious to pass up!

"Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, believes that the future belongs to those who can tell a story through their art, their work and their lives. He says: The era of "left brain" dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which "right brain" qualities — inventiveness, empathy, and meaning — predominate. The challenge lies in revealing the inspiration and passion that leads us to create meaningful art and design and then translating that into relevance for the consumer.

This lust for the authentic and the storied is flourishing in a number of businesses. Vintage has taken over the red carpets of Hollywood as actresses seek to create a richer backstory for themselves via the tales and titillations of a refurbished gown from a more glamorous time."

Image information: “Brain Flower” © Roxana Villa
Medium: acrylic veils of color on gessoed board
Image dimensions: not sure, about 9X11

“Brain Flower” was commissioned for the Kennedy Kreiger 1992 Annual Report. The illustration was done so long ago I don't remember much about its creation except for they wanted do illustrate the idea of learning utilizing the imagery of the brain.

The Importance of Story by Lynn Casey on Arcade

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Next week there is a gathering of Illustrators taking place in New York City. The event is titled ICON5, short for The Illustration Conference. This years event has been deemed The Big Picture.
My sweetheart, fiance, heart throb, lover will be moderating a panel called Moving Imagination: Concept Design in Film and the Gaming Industry. His fellow visionary conspirators on the panel are Stephan Martiniere and Barry Jackson. Here is a description of the talk from the Icon website:

Learn the differences and similarities between the illustration world and the film and gaming industries from seasoned professionals, and hear how technology plays a crucial part in the film/ gaming worlds and what tools are crucial to this environment. Compare the dynamic of working by yourself freelancing as opposed to working in a studio with a team of talent. What creative freedoms do you gain and lose in the studio system? How lucrative are the film and gaming industries? This session will also touch on the advantages of the internet and the concept of a virtual studio where talent works together on projects online.

I've had the privilege of seeing the artwork to be featured as well as spending lots of time with Stephan and Barry. It's sure to be a stellar presentation, not to be missed!

Other luminaries presenting at ICON5 include James Jean and Tara McPherson. All of the artists mentioned, including me, will be at the Comic Con in San Diego. The largest event for popular art culture in America.

Image information: “Lotus” © Roxana Villa

Medium: acrylic veils of color on gessoed board
Image dimensions: 21 x 14.5 (approximately)
This painting might be available for purchase, it is framed and hangs in our home. For purchase and usage*, contact me for details: Roxana at Roxana Villa dot com.

Lotus” was created as a poster for the World of Aromatherapy Conference in 2000. If you would like a poster e-mail me, it is free if you pay the shipping.

* All images are copyrighted, do not use without permission, that would be a violation of copyright laws and could result in enormous fines.

Greg Spalenka
Stephan Martiniere
Barry Jackson
James Jean
Tara McPherson
San Diego Comic Convention

The Core of Our Nature

We went to an art opening Saturday night at the Santa Monica Art Studios. Ben, my daughters father, was one of the featured artists. He's been creating some very whimsical pieces with the computer program Illustrator. I look forward to seeing them animated.

While at the opening I spotted some very creatively dressed, circus type individuals. I was attracted to them immediately....like a magnet. As we were looking at the art on the walls I mentioned to one of these wildly dressed specimens how much I loved the outfit. His name is Fernando, he is an artist and performer with a local Circus troupe here in Los Angeles called Lucent Dossier. He mentioned that most people get really stuck in dressing a specific way and have lost touch with expressing themselves as individuals. By dressing the way that he does he has noticed that it somehow gives people permission to find that element in themselves, to be outrageous. Indeed, I was inspired and wished people would dress with more artistry. Look at the difference between what you see on the haute couture fashion runways versus the watered down versions you see out on the street.

Dream Rockwell, the mastermind behind Lucent Dossier, has quite an eye for dressing her team....from the make-up to each hand stiched re-invented vintage clothing and hand crafted accessories. She ingeniously weaves together bits and pieces of odds and ends to create something new, they call it Vaudeville Glamour. In fact the website has a new upcoming section titled Gypsy Haute Couture, where Dream will be offering her fantastical wears.

We first came across Lucent Dossier at the 2007 Elevate Film Festival . There is an element of Cirque du Soleil about them, Cirque du Soleil meets Mad Max. For those in the Los Angeles area see them perform live at the Edison.

I'll leave you with this from the Lucent Dossier website:

Creativity is at the core of our nature, yet in the course of our lives our creative desires are lost in the abyss of “impossible dreams.”

It now falls to us to rediscover our magical inspirations and release their free-flowing expressions. It is our destiny to make all things possible.

We must shed the spells society has accidentally cast upon us, and find out, for ourselves, who we really are and what we want from this incredible world of possibilities. We must find the strength to believe in ourselves and create our dreams into reality.

Lucent Dossier is, at its very core, a playground for the innovative genius child in all of us. It is a collective based on magic and inspiration, living by the ancient wisdom of choosing confidence over doubt, joy over pain and love over fear.

Image information: “Humor” © Roxana Villa

Medium: acrylic veils of color on gessoed board
Board dimensions: 6 x 7.5 -
Image dimensions: 2.5x 4 (approximately)
This painting is available for purchase and usage*, contact me for details: Roxana at Roxana Villa dot com.

Humor” was commissioned by Running Press for the Meditation Kit, a book and card deck set. The set is out of print but can be found at various locations online. I contributed over eighty five paintings for this project.

* All images are copyrighted, do not use without permission, that would be a violation of copyright laws and could result in enormous fines.

Ben Neuhart: I Got Hot Pockets
Lucent Dossier
Elevate Film Festival
Cirque du Soleil
The Edison

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Solstice

Sunny greetings on this hot Summer Solstice Day from the sweltering Santa Monica Mountains. It is 110 degrees in the shade here, obviously we are not high enough in the mountains to get those lovely off shore breezes from the Pacific ocean.

I've noticed that some calendars put the Summer Solstice yesterday and others today. If you have an interest in this topic check out these posts over at my Illuminated Perfume journal.

In the mid nineties I was part of an initiate group of women studying with a Celtic Shaman. We were all interested in becoming more aware and deepening our connection with the divine (God, Great Spirit, etc.). Although the work involved was difficult and challenging it was well worth it on many levels. Most significantly it influenced my artwork tremendously. Basically anything I am interested makes its mark in my artwork, however, this particular journey had a very discernable affect.

Image information: “Sun Maiden” © Roxana Villa
Medium: acrylic veils of color on gessoed board
Board dimensions: 10 x 14.5 -
Image dimensions: 9 x 13.25
This painting is available for purchase and usage*, contact me for details: Roxana at Roxana Villa dot com.

Sun Maiden” was commissioned as one of two paintings for Barnes and Noble. The The other was a lunar image titled Moon Maiden. Both paintings were created as wrap around covers. The folks I was working with at Barnes and Noble got the idea from the imagery I had created for the Running Press Meditation Kit, a book and card deck set. The journals are out of print and no longer available. I have a few copies of the Lunar one, if interested send me an e-mail: Roxana at Roxana Villa dot com.

* All images are copyrighted, do not use without permission, that would be a violation of copyright laws and could result in enormous fines.

Barnes and Noble

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Journey: Part One

During my junior year of high school I was fortunate to get a scholarship to attend a Saturday drawing class at the prestigious Art Center College of Design. Although I had pondered going to art school I was also interested in English literature, Psychology and Photography. So, every Saturday morning I would get up super early and drive my little red VW bug out to the foothills of Pasadena. The class was specifically focused on life drawing from live models, sometimes dressed in fanciful costumes, sometimes nude.
One day after our break, I walked past a classroom that had a full time students work on display, most likely their portfolio. The work broadened my perspective and made me conscious of illustration. I saw the work and thought, that's what I want to do!
I attempted to get into Art Center out of high school but did not have the qualifications. Instead I enrolled in drawing classes at my local community college and a pre-college program at Otis Art Institute. At the junction of the 101 and the 134, rather than heading toward Pasadena, I drove South toward Otis in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.

Image information: “Vision” © Roxana Villa
Medium: acrylic veils of color on gessoed board
Image dimensions: 5 x 5

“Vision” was commissioned as one of five other paintings for the City of Hope 2002 Annual Report. The concept for the Annual Report was “Hope is”. This painting titled Vision was to accompany the section for Hope is Imagination. The expansive qualities of the imagination are evoked by using the metaphor of primordial waters, where all is born. The figure in the boat doubles as an eye representing the creative vision found amongst the doctors at City of Hope.

Art Center College of Design
Otis Art Institute