Since childhood, Cynthia has shown an unusual aptitude for and interest in the arts. Determined to pursue art since her teens, she earned a Fine Arts degree in Manila, Philippines, and began a career in Advertising and Design. Her need to create more art outside of the nine to five workday led her to set up a small studio in an art district of Manila, where she painted into the evenings.
Cynthia has enjoyed membership in various artist groups, including “The Saturday Group”, a weekly sketching session attended by top Filipino artists. She was also a member of the Institute for Studies in Asian Church & Culture, which provided a robust Christian critique of the state of society and the arts. Combining these influences with a love of the theatre and ballet, she produced several studies of various dancers, culminating in her first solo exhibition at the Ramada Hotel in 1987.
In 1988, Cynthia moved from the Philippines to Hong Kong. Working for a charitable institution that highlighted the plight of religious prisoners in Asia, she traveled extensively in China and other Asian countries, gaining exposure to universal themes of poverty, suffering and spiritual hope.
During this time, she was compelled to depict women from minority tribes in Burma, Thailand, India, and the Philippines. She was so touched by their warmth and gentleness, their tenacity in coping with a harsh environment, and their deep loyalty to family and society, that in 1991 she created her “Tribal Women of Asia” series, exhibited in a group show sponsored by the Filipino Business Association of Glendale.
Moving to California has inspired Cynthia to develop her work by exploring different media, taking her towards a more expressionistic direction. Nature has recently become her subject where colors and light play a major part in her work. The main entry points of her design and composition.
Llanes continues to show her works in numerous juried shows and galleries in Los Angeles. Many of her works are in private collections both here in the United States and internationally.