CYNTHIA COLIS

san diego, california

About Cynthia Colis

Cynthia Colis captures both the corporeal and the ethereal qualities of the subjects she paints, be it musicians at their trade, innocent youths, or the creatures of the natural world. Her work radiates the energy and emotions of their animate moments. Critics describe her artistic style as instantly disarming and demonstrating exquisite brushwork with a painterly modeling of tones.

For many years, Colis has striven to live minimally and to reduce her impact on the earth. She appreciates the philosophy that life does not have to be complex and believes that art need not be complex either. Recently, she takes a less-is-more approach with her paintings allowing a simple and light color palette, airy textures, and negative space to span the canvas. The result is captivating. For instance, the animals in her modern farm series have a silent strength and stand for the idea that we are all creatures of this earth connected to nature and are deserving of peace, gentleness, and compassion.

Born in Vietnam and raised in the Philippines and Louisiana, Colis began to appreciate art early in her youth from watching her father paint at his easel. In this way, she began to learn to paint from a young age. She received her BA in Fine Art from the University of Southwest Louisiana prior to moving to California to pursue painting full-time. Previously, Colis studied with the internationally recognized and award-winning Slovenian artist, Joze Ciuha, in Sipan, Croatia. Currently, Colis lives and works in San Diego, California.

 

the meaning of art

Initially, Colis was fascinated with the cow, a sacred animal in many cultures, as the subject of her art. Often expressing the concept of the earth as mother, cows are often a symbol of fertility, nurturing, and power. At the time, these themes of motherhood and fertility were important for Colis to express. After her breast cancer diagnosis, however, her artistic expression shifted to the cow as a symbol of strength, survival, and life, as Colis struggled to protect her own life and her fertility during her cancer treatment. Colis’ strong feelings in this regard spill onto her canvas in the form of stitches, bandages, and healing wounds. Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, Colis ensures that she stays positive and that life continues as normal while she obtains treatment. Her greatest desire is to continue doing the things that she loves, with the focus being on her art.

“Instantly disarming, fun loving, and affectionate, Cynthia Colis woos audiences with paintings that feature young women with pouting lips poised for kisses. There is an endearing quality in each painting found in the innocent expectation of reciprocal affection from the viewer. Her exquisite brushwork and painterly modeling of flesh tones adds to the air of exuberance and joy in the work focused around the full, red lips of each woman.”
— Agora Gallery, Chelsea New York