Barbara Rivera Art

About the Artist

I’m a Southern California artist of Mexican and Cuban descent. I’m married to an incredible man, who keeps me grounded. We’ve been married for 25 years and have three amazing sons, one grandson,  my sons are college graduates and one son who proudly, ended his service in the US Navy.

 I am extremely proud of my cultural heritage, and often can be seen embracing it through my paintings. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Cuba to meet my family and recently, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to continuously travel back to Mexico to see family. Sometimes I feel so Cuban, and sometimes I feel so Mexican. My heart sings for joy when listening to Cuban music, as it sings for joy when listening to mariachi. It’s in my soul, it’s who I am. Often in my paintings, I try to capture my cultural heritage. I paint mariachi’s as well as folkloric dancers, and can also be seen painting Dia De Los Muertos. For instance, I’ve painted the Cora Indians of Nayarit, Mexico, where my mother is from. I love and can often be seen embracing my heritage by wearing the beaded jewelry the native people of Nayarit make.

I came from a very loving, yet underprivileged background. I had one older sister and two younger brothers. My father was a political refugee from Cuba, and my mother, a Mexican immigrant. My parents worked ever so hard to give my siblings and I a different and better life than they had grown up to in their home countries; even sacrificing everything they had to put us through Catholic school, ensuring we received an adequate education. My mother took care of us and did not work at the time. My father made money here and there as a freelance auto mechanic. The incredible thing about my childhood is that I was not aware that we were poor. I had so much love and support from my parents that I felt I had everything in the world.

My father, an honest and humble man, was extremely influential in my life. He taught me many life lessons that I deeply treasure to this day. Unfortunately, I lost my father in a tragic car accident in 2001 that also claimed the life of my sister and her husband. My dad was a simple man who loved life and always made time to enjoy nature and to fish. As an artist, to this day and with that influence I love to capture life, culture, & nature in my paintings. A lesson my father always taught was to work hard and make the most of each and every day because we are unable to possess the knowledge of when our time will come.

I worked a full-time job as a high school secretary; and as demanding and stressful the job is, I continued to make time to come home and paint every day. I recently stopped working and decided to dedicate myself to the thing I enjoy the most, painting. I paint every day because my art liberates me. As cliche as it sounds, I feel alive when I paint. It’s my moment to create stories through my paintings. My paintings are often painted with the most vibrant of colors which represent to me, the awesome energy of life. I want people to feel the energy and emotions that radiate from my paintings.

My paintings are a reflection of my life, my journey, and of the things that are important to me, as influenced by my surroundings: people, places, cultures, politics, and things that I love.

My hope is that you walk away after seeing my paintings with the desire to tell your story, with the desire to think about your personal and unique life and journey. As crazy and complicated as it may be, it is YOUR story. This is a glimpse of mine. I encourage questions and contact from my fans.

If you are interested in purchasing an original piece please contact me via email at barbarariveraart@gmail.com 

 

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