The idea for my Spirits of the Forest came out of an invitation to present my artwork at Fiesta de Flores at the New York Botanical Garden around 2014. I wanted to create pieces on tile that both represented my culture and the garden.
A few years earlier, during a visit to my maternal grandmother in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico, I had begun drawing these beings that were part human and part nature, referring to an idea that has guided my work, expressed by a scientist on TV: "we are part of the earth, literally."
These words (probably spoken a little different in a Discovery Channel documentary) have stayed with me for almost 2 decades and have guided my work. So I began to think of the Taínos, the original inhabitants of Puerto Rico, who are in me, according to my son and his DNA tests he has administered to many members of our extended family, in a proportion of about 10%. I though of their myths, their connection to the earth, and of El Yunque, that Sacred Mountain we still revere, and I started painting these beings.
Ever since then, my community has supported this style and loved it. And I keep painting this iconic face in different ways, with gratitude and love.
These are a few of the Spirits of the Forest I have painted..
|Spirit of the Forest: Miramelindas (2), by Tanya Torres|
|Spirit of the Forest by Tanya Torres|
|Framed Spirit of the Forest Tiles at Rosa Velazquez's home.|
|Spirit of the Forest: Garden, painting on canvas at Dr. Claudia Quiroz's office.|
|Spirit of the Forest: Miramelindas by Tanya Torres. Art on tile, 6" x 8". 2018.|
|One of my Spirit of the Forest Scarves: see my Vida Shop|
|Spirit of the Forest: Leaf Heart by Tanya Torres , Acrylic on canvas, 2018.|