About Silvia Maria
Since I came to the United States from Cuba in 1961 with my parents and brother I have lived, studied, and worked in New York. I currently live on Long Island with my many fur babies as well as my son and daughter-in-law.
As an artist and writer, I strive to bring forth my vision and give it life in whatever form or medium I am working on and constantly suffer the angst and pains of self-doubt and trepidation. Is it finished and is it good enough are thoughts that are prevalent as I toil to bring my thoughts and visions to life. Sometimes what I have envisioned in my mind is not quite like what I manage to produce, whether because I lack the technical abilities or the concept may just not be feasible for many other reasons. Yet, I persevere and produce works and open myself up to accolades and criticism. This is what makes me grow and strive to do better on my next piece. I was asked once if I felt that my expertise had evolved from inherent talent or schooling and training. I do not feel that I possess any outstanding natural artistic or writing talent but, whatever it is that I have was fostered and allowed to grow. For as long as I can remember, I was exposed to fine art and literature, the work of impactful artists and authors. I was taken to galleries and museums where I saw masterpieces first hand and I read great works along with my parents. I was always encouraged by my them to explore my creativity and indulge my passion for anything in the realm of the arts. I have also been extremely lucky to have had some amazing teachers and mentors along the way who drilled into me the basics of drawing, painting, writing, music and other assorted interests. I may never have been one of their top students but through hard work and discipline I learned enough to be adequate, get by and get to the point where I am satisfied with the work I produce.
I do what I do simply because it heals my soul and brings me joy. As I bury myself in the artistic and laborious process of creating anything, I am free from the worries and tribulations of my life and all that is wrong with the world. I can disappear into a magical landscape of my own creation when I am drawing, painting or creating a new scene in my Fairy Garden. I can relive pleasant and at times sad memories of family and friends long gone or still here and dear to my heart when I am sorting through cherished photographs to find a focus painting or create a scrapbook page. I can strategize and try to keep my mind sharp as I debate over the simplest compositional problem or color choice when I am engaging in any type of craft or artwork or trying to turn a phrase or sentence without my usual penchant for “wordiness”. Any artistic task can be learned but only those who have true talent achieve greatness, as well they should. I have learned but if I never get to soar that’s OK. I am happy with what I do and happier to be able to continue doing it and improving with each new attempt.
I have worked very hard, and continue to do so in order to serenely persist on my journey of knowledge and self-fulfillment. If that journey also brings joy to others, I have truly succeeded regardless of the fact that no matter what, my work will never please some people. Any artistic endeavor I undertake just like life, is a process of discovery, development, a refining and redefining of myself and I must keep moving forward in order to complete my earthly journey towards self-actualization.
I am a lifelong educator and educational administrator and have devoted most of my career to working with minority, immigrant students and their families. I have taught all grades spanning Pre-K to graduate students. I am currently retired but still teach as an adjunct for the State University of New York at Old Westbury. I hold a BFA in Visual Arts from CUNY Herbert H Lehman College and have several graduate and advanced degrees and certificates in the field of education, administration and supervision as well as family therapy and peer-intervention from various institutions.
The focus of my art work is on landscapes, florals, still life, and figures in pastels, pencil, watercolor, acrylic and oil. I have exhibited my work in both solo and group exhibitions and my work is also represented in several private collections. My writing is mostly focused on the genres of creative writing and memoir.