Landscape Expressionist Artist
On any beautiful day by the Blue Ridge Parkway of Asheville, North Carolina you may find Cynthia Llanes either exploring new hiking trails painting or sketching in the open outdoors. Moving from Southern California to Asheville has transformed Cynthia’s vision for her art. Plein air painting gives her a lift and an emotional connection with the beauty of nature. The breathtaking and lush mountains, waterfalls and hiking trails have given her a new heart and eye in painting landscapes. She says that this indeed is another exciting phase of her life as an artist.
Cynthia Llanes was drawn to art as a young girl, always drawing and scribbling with her pencils and crayons. This interest in the arts led her to a private art school in Manila, Philippines. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts majoring in painting and graphic design. Her love for textile design, painting, and fashion landed her a job as a textile designer in Los Angeles for many years. Inspired with the endless possibilities of many art forms, Cynthia continued to paint and experiment, finding joy in exploring different mediums, always fighting to improve her work. The mediums included acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastel, and mixed media which influenced her recent style towards a more expressionistic direction.
Cynthia Llanes’ love for travel and different cultures have contributed a lot in her creative endeavors. She has travelled extensively in Asia and parts of Europe. For a period of time she lived and worked in Hong Kong for a charitable organization that highlighted the plight of religious prisoners in Asia, gaining exposure to universal themes of poverty, suffering and spiritual hope. This compelled her to depict women from minority tribes in Burma, Thailand, India, Pakistan and the Philippines. She was so touched by their warmth and gentleness, their tenacity in coping with persecution, 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 Brand Gallery in Glendale, Los Angeles.
At present, nature has become her muse where colors and texture play a major part in her work. She is quick to say that these are the main entry points of her design and composition.
“I like to find the ‘magic’ a scene offers, no matter how ordinary it may seem. I have been always captivated by the movement of light and shadows, the ever-changing colors of the sky and the reflections on water. I like to use bold brushstrokes and palette knife effects to express movement and atmospheric depth. My color palette is usually complementary colors to produce warm and cool contrasts. My goal is to exaggerate and enhance the beauty found in nature.”
Impressionist and expressionist masters have influenced and inspired Cynthia Llanes’ work: Van Gogh’s passion for bold strokes and pure colors; Edgar Degas’ strong compositions and artistic testimony of life; Cezanne’s abstraction of landscapes; Marc Chagall’s playful, and whimsical tone; and John Pollock’s fearless approach in his medium.
“Everyday, nature’s phenomena reflect back to us its beauty in magical and sometimes dramatic, and intense images. My work is a celebration and an expression of my wonder of nature’s gifts.
I believe that art’s purpose is to uplift, inspire, communicate or simply provoke a conversation.”
To view Cynthia’s recent works, visit New Morning Gallery, the Historic Art & Craft Gallery in Biltmore Village located at the heart of Asheville’s bustling art community: https://www.newmorninggallerync.com
Read a recent article: July 2022 Cover Artist by The Laurel of Asheville magazine:
Also read interview article by Rapid River Magazine: https://online.pubhtml5.com/whax/khbs/index.html#p=50
A FEW TESTIMONIALS
I purchased the portrait “Thai Refugees”, approximately 15 years ago. The moment I saw the portrait at an art exhibit of Cynthia Llanes, I immediately fell in love with it. The colors are beautiful, a heartfelt picture of a Thai woman with her two young children strapped to her.
The portrait features the details of a hard-working woman.
But the portrait seems alive with her inner beauty.
Although I have never traveled to the far east, I have always been attracted to many aspects of the culture, and this painting brings the admirable values of hard work and love for family.
Today, as a mother of two girls, and no longer single, the painting still means a lot to me. I have enjoyed this portrait in my home for its magnificent culture and beauty.
It is through this work of Cynthia Llanes that I am enriched by the “Thai Refugees”, without ever traveling abroad.
“My Llanes painting is a pastel of a female dancer in motion, now sited above the mantelpiece in the library, taking pride of place.
The skirt is a diaphanous riot of oranges, whites and pinks; the arms thin and muscled, face deep in concentration and troubled dark background which adds to the sense of movement. It is as if she wants to jump down into the room and keep dancing.
I love this piece for two reasons. One is, it has a great sense of invitation to celebrate. I want to dance when I look at the picture. There is a beckoning quality that alters my mood and shouts, “even though you may not feel like it, you must find something to dance about!” So I invariably do. This dancer must have company.
The other reason is that the piece captures the challenging nature of great art. The dancer is caught up in ecstasy of the dance, yes, but there is also fear on her face, and the strain shows in her honed arms and posture. She has paid a great price to dance this well.
Gazing at the picture, it is as if I can feel the drops of her perspiration. Gifted she may be, but this beautiful dance is also the result of years of hard work, training and sacrifice. As a writer, this picture reminds me to put in the hard work, and not to be discouraged on those days when it is all perspiration, and no inspiration.
So thank you Cynthia. I bought the picture, but because it has the quality of great art, you also gave me a companion, a muse, a force field of action and comfort.”
” Cynthia Llanes’ art is a wonderful reflection of her soul — complex, warm, deep, whimsical, ethereal. yet earthy — full of delightful expression.
I find her art pleasantly awakens a part of my imaginative soul perhaps previously in light slumber. I own a piece from her mixed media selection entitled “Beyond My Dreams”, and every time I pass by it, it never fails to provide an enlightening encounter. Looking forward to decorating my office with her art.
Truly a priceless investment.”
“I was captivated by Cynthia’s work the minute I walked into the gallery she was exhibiting. Among so many talented artists, Cynthia’s use of color and lines are beautiful, soothing yet bold and expressive at the same time.
I am happy to own two of her pieces and I look forward to seeing more of her works.”
“The piece of artwork I purchased is unique and beautiful. The autumn leaves are so real you want to touch them just to make sure they truly are painted on a muted dark green canvas. To me, it’s timeless and season-less as I never tire of looking at this awesome piece artwork.”