Sanda Manuila

In the last few years events have been troublesome and the future uncertain. Everything is in flux. I am reflecting this heightened reality in my work. I paint visual stories, which I emotionally charge to engage the viewers to question what they see and how they feel.

I was born in Geneva, Switzerland. I remember when I was a teenager how I often dreamt about California. It seemed so far away and so idealistic. Little did I know that one day I would make this beautiful place my home. This is a land where people deeply value the environment. However we are living in disturbing times. We can’t escape the heat, the drought and in the la the fires have burning with a vengeance. Smoke pollutes the air, and heavy rains cause mudslides. All over the world extreme weather patterns send us a wake up call. We need to address the danger of the denial of climate change. With the Corona Virus, Mother Nature gives us an ultimatum, we need to stop and ponder.

My oil and pastel paintings depict the fear of loss and the struggle for survival. I choose dead roses, decaying vegetation, birds or insects as some examples on how fauna and flora are so much part of their environment that they merge into it. Even when we abuse her, Nature remains beautiful; I paint poetry.


Portfolio:

Oil Paintings

My oil and mixed media pastel and gouache paintings are stylized representational images from which exude an allegorical quality. They depict a state of mind in which the boundaries between dream and reality have become very fluid.

Fear “Fear”

Oil on canvas, 24"30"
Seagull in disarray trapped in fire. A memory of the 2017 Northern California fires and a comment on global warming

The witness “The witness”

Oil on canvas, 20"x24"
Crow watching destruction caused by human beings. A comment on war and global warming

Dead End “Dead End”

Oil on canvas, 30"x24"
Monarch butterflies caught in fire. A memory of the Northern California fires and a comment on global warming, immigration, and the situation of the Dreamers

No Way Out “No Way Out”

oil on canvas, 36"x24"
Crow trapped in fire
A memory of the 2017 Northern California fires and a comment on global warming

Flying in Water “Flying in Water”

oil on canvas, 30"x24"
American Eagle drowning, a comment on the vulnerability of democracy, birds don't fly in water, a comment on global warming

Mixed Media Pastel and Gouache

My mixed media work of gouache and pastel on paper is loose. The process involves a slow addition of layers starting with gouache, and then going in with pastel, alternating back and forth with the two media. The application of paint and pastel is controlled but also gestural. I splatter with fan brushes, tooth brushes and scrape with a palette knife. As in my oil work, I seek depth and richness.

The Sky cries in my lonely Heart “The Sky cries in my lonely Heart”

A bird standing alone in the rain and in the cold.
I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known. iI don't know where it goes, but it is home and I stand alone.

Poetry of Renewal “Poetry of Renewal”

Pastel and gouache painting on paper. The portrait of a woman wrapped in butterfly wings.

Of  Love and Survival 1 “Of Love and Survival 1”

Pastel and gouache painting on watercolor paper, 19"x15"
A couple of crows struggling together for survival in a snow storm. A comment on global warming.

Im-Migration Series: Self Portrait of an Immigrant “Im-Migration Series: Self Portrait of an Immigrant”

Pastel and gouache painting on watercolor paper, 15"x19.5"
Self portrait as a monarch butterfly. A comment on immigration and the Dreamers.

Vulnerable “Vulnerable”

Pastel and gouache painting on paper, 18"x15"
Small finch rapped in fire. A memory of the 2017 Northern California fires, a comment on global warming