Onna grew up in the Pacific Northwest and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2000. She is a mixed media artist living and working in southern Arizona. Her work is inspired by her time in nature and by her travels. Walking in nature is her preferred way to see the world, up close, visually and physically, with every moment. Her work has been exhibited nationally and has found homes with collectors nationally and internationally.
My work explores self as a reflection of nature, and nature as a reflection of self. It is an exploration of consciousness, memory, and experience; our consciousness intertwined with nature. I’m interested in creating a meditative space, one that is both beautiful and contemplative, joyful and serious.
In my work I am interested in finding simplicity in the complex, order in the random, and that perfect line in a beautiful form. There is a tension between what my unconscious mind is seeing and painting and what my conscious mind is trying to control. It is this tension, which reflects the struggle of the human spirit to find beauty and purpose between dreams and body, conscious space and unconscious space, that inspires my work.
My studio is a sub-200 sq ft space built with my hands from local rock. I live on a sky island in the Sonoran Desert, off-grid and collect rainwater. I watch the sunset nearly every night when I am home, watching it move across the horizon like the shadow on a sundial. It punctuates my days.
INSPIRATION and PROCESS
The inspiration for my work is a direct distillation from the time I spend in nature. It is an exploration of consciousness, memory, and experience; our consciousness intertwined with nature. I paint outside a lot, especially the large works.
I have always been passionate about beauty and nature. I have always examined the details of natural things, the texture of a rock, the color shades in a sunset, the way the wind feels on my skin… It is the intimate connection between the wild landscape and our primal animal nature that I explore in my art. It is something deeply spiritual, alive, and who we are.
My free time away from my studio is spent in the wilds; climbing mountains, rock climbing, and hiking. When I’m walking the wilds and climbing mountains, I am always taking mental notes on the experience …what it feels like, the movement of plants in the wind, the sounds. In those moments I become the landscape: the sky, sun, earth, rock, the animals, the plants, the wind. I bring these experiences back to the studio and to my work.
In my paintings I work in layers, alternating between solid paint applications, drawing, and wet, thin paint layers. Each mark builds the path to the next. Each color drives the next color, eventually sealing the story for that piece, and leading to the continuation of the story in the next painting.