by Gina Stratton (San Antonio, Texas)

16 x 20 – Acrylic on Canvas

“This was painted from a photo taken by my grandparents when they lived in Ecuador. After a bit of research, I found that most likely the woman in the photo belonged to a group of Huaorani natives living in the rainforests of Ecuador. Looking through her albums was always fascinating.

I was always drawn to this particular photo and held on to it when my grandmother passed. I always kept this one close and for years it was pinned to my bulletin board. In 2016 I had breast cancer recurrence with mets to lungs and bone and spent a lot of time working in my art studio where I looked at the photo daily. The photo made me think a lot about what I was going through. It also made me thankful that I was in a country with abundant resources, both conventional and natural, to help me navigate cancer. The woman in the picture was a native and probably did not have opportunities like I do however she was confident in the natural medicines of her tribe. It made me more at peace with what my tribe has to offer me.

Art to me is emotion, both flowing in and flowing out. It is meditation when my thoughts are getting the best of me and a guide when seeking answers. I learned to just let go and follow my intuition. Art is my teacher. Inspiration is never hard to find because even the most ordinary things can be painted in amazing ways.”

The original photograph

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