September 17, 2pm
Free to the Community
Carmen R Sonnes’ artwork is difficult to categorize. It is definitely Latino—vivid color, brown-skinned women, Mexican flavors, and themes— and she consistently works in mixed media. She almost always depicts women and many times these have golden halos around their heads. Beyond that, her art is a captivating kaleidoscope.
In her paintings and mixed media pieces, Carmen displays creative bravado and abandon, mixed with high skill and attention to detail. She describes herself as “creatively restless or restlessly creative” and her work reflects this; no two paintings are similar. Her pride and love of her Mexican immigrant roots are in full display, as are her love and reverence for the Sacred and the Divine. She finds inspiration everywhere from her early childhood to environmental issues. As she says, “I am as enchanted beachcombing or by a hike in the desert as I am by a stroll through a thrift store or a museum.”
Practically everywhere she looks, she sees potential for creating art. Consequently, Carmen will use a vast array of material to make her art: delicate lace, rusted metal, fabric, sand, dried seed pods, hair, feathers, candle wax, magazine advertisements—the list is endless. These she combines with acrylic paint and adheres to canvas to beautiful effect.
Carmen taught herself to draw and paint and continuously explores and invents technique. In her mid-50s, Carmen had a rough childhood growing up on the Texas/Mexico Border and in migrant farmworker camps in California. By age twelve, Carmen along with her two sisters worked as assistant to their midwife mother. All these experiences color and inform the art she creates today. Carmen divides her time between the verdant Pacific Northwest and the arid Southwest, keeping strong ties to Arizona and Texas. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and as far away as Mexico City and Rome, Italy.