No explanation of an artist’s process in making art can be complete without some discussion of influences. I primarily create figurative work. Why is this? Well, most of my favorite artists have, at some point in their careers, taken the human body and reduced it down to a few essential brushstrokes, lines or shapes. It’s kind of like the haiku of seeing the human form. It may be that as a life-long yoga practioner I inhabit my body all the better simply to draw it. Thinking about, feeling, and holding these ancient yogic poses allows me to be a better artist. I have been influenced by artists and individuals that are wildly different. For example, Laurie Anderson, The Dalai Lama, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Chagall, David Bowie, Aubrey Beardsley, Klimt, Einstein, and April Greiman are all major influences. Somehow they all achieved that haiku in their work showing us how to see, be more with less, or the reverse!

Neon & LED Sculpture

Catarina's Studio

My illuminated work all starts with one word: concept. A good concept is like gold. Once I see the piece fully formed in my mind, I start thinking about ways to create it. I take my concept and turn it into a drawing or sketch. It can be rough or detailed, but I always draw out the concept of the sculpture I plan to build before I begin. I create many versions. If the piece is a commission, then this is the most communicative time in the artist/client relationship. I love the back and forth trading of ideas of finding out what my clients have in their minds. This is always a wonderful experience for me. Often when I visit my client's home, after the commission is finished, I am astonished at how they have created such fantastic spaces and incorporated my work into their homes. Many people have realized they can create magical spaces, discovering my art can be a catalyst for a truly unique ambiance.

Once the concept is drawn out to my satisfaction, I blow it up and trace it onto thick paper. I then lay the drawing onto a sheet of metal and trace it using carbon paper. I go over the faint carbon lines with a thick pen.

I then turn on my compressor, suit up, and begin meticulously cutting out the shape with my plasma torch. It’s hot, sweaty, and loud work. Once the shape is finished, I begin using sanders, grinders, and files to clean up my shape. I don’t much care for machined laser cut metal, it looks soulless to me.

Catarina's Studio Catarina's Studio

I then play with neon, LEDs, dyes, and mixed metals to create the finished work. Each piece is wired up differently depending on what medium I’m using, and Voila!


Catarina's Studio

I always draw on black paper. I don’t know why, but I must use black. I use a pencil to outline my basic idea, and then use the best colored pencils and begin filling in areas with color. I never really know what I’m going to draw, I may have some figure in the back of my mind, something I saw, but the final work always surprises me. I think I just let go, and let my creative spirit flow. Most of the pieces have meanings, sometimes reflected in the title, but I never plan it that way. I just name the piece after Madam Muse is done with me.

Print Information:

When you order a Limited Edition print from me you can choose to either have a paper print or a metal print. The difference between the two, what to choose, and why follows:

Giclée Print Advantages:

  • I use Hahnemühle Photo Rag Bright White for my Giclée prints.
  • This 310 paper is a wonderful bright white with exceptional smoothness for excellent color and black and white photographic output.
  • It is 100% cotton fiber, mould-made and is PH neutral, acid free, and lignen-free.
  • This heavier weight paper is specifically engineered for wide-format inkjet printing and is water resistant.
  • This paper is gorgeous!

ProFineArt Metal Print Advantages:

  • The image is not mounted on aluminum; instead it is fused into the top polyester coating on top of a smooth white finished .045 aluminum.
  • The back of the image is denser than any photo or photo paper, making the color saturation higher.
  • It is completely flat and very stiff.
  • It is very scratch resistant.
  • It is easy to clean - use glass cleaner or even water.
  • Prints are ready to hang with its furnished hanger.
  • The prints do not need to be covered with glass or framed, although framing options are available.
  • I love metal prints because they don’t need a frame and “float” on the wall.
  • The look is crisp, modern, and minimalist. Blacks are rich and colors achieve a lovely saturation.

Fashion Design

I think my rebellious spirit can’t help itself designing and creating clothes, costumes, or cuffs. The work shown on my site is a very small sliver of all the things I’ve made over the last few years. I started creating yoga pants and then moved onto designing tops. I actually wore an ensemble I had sewn myself to my cocktail hour birthday celebration at the Top of The Mark in San Francisco. I felt wonderful.

My leather cuff fashion accessories collection sprung out when I then fell in love with a leather cuff purchased and decided I wanted to make them. Please check out my ever expanding leather cuff collection, I made several and I personally love wearing them.

Being a metal artist, I secretly wanted to make metal clothing. This secret desire pressed me to apply for and win a scholarship from the Tim Havey Foundation for the Arts, enabling me to learn from the master of metal mesh, Tim Havey himself.

My metal mesh garments are made from ¼” stainless steel metal mesh. I then spend hours forming and shaping the mesh (which is very sharp and cuts), working on “spaces” in the metal mesh that have to be wired meticulously together to form the overall shape. The convex shapes have to be hammered into shape.

Catarina's Studio Catarina's Studio

I’m gearing up to combine my metal mesh fashion pieces into illuminated works of art. After all, I’m really a light artist and when I combine the two elements of metal mesh and light it’s going to be a beautiful thing...