Interview with Cynthia Llanes

Overlooking the Pisgah mountain forest from my porch

“Misty Morning at Reeves Cove”

Interview with Cynthia Llanes

by Rapid River Magazine

We are excited to share important highlights of Cynthia’s  journey as an artist. Here are a few events and new happenings. Here below is an  interview article by  Rapid River Magazine, Asheville’s online arts and culture magazine.

RRM:  What is your philosophy on art’s relevance to modern society? 

Art is an expression of a personal experience that can be shared with others. It multiplies and connects us with each other in an emotional and expressive way. It reminds me of a quote by Cy Twombly (painter, sculptor) “Every line is the actual experience with its own unique story.”

RRM:  At what age did you say, “I’m an artist,” and how long had you been doing art before making this statement to yourself? 

I was 16 years old when I realized being an artist is my true calling. I have been drawing and designing clothes for my paper dolls since I was seven years old.  Then I discovered painting oil on canvas.  So I decided to pursue a Fine Arts degree in college. 

RRM:  To quote Ray Bradbury on talking about what it takes to create, he said, “You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” To create you cannot let fear dictate your art. How did/do you overcome the fear of “I cannot do good enough,” or “I’m never going to be the next (fill in the blank)” or “What will people think of this art?

Often there is fear when I face “the cliff, as I prepare to jump” because I know there is no parachute waiting for me.  The challenge pushes me to go beyond the place of safety.  I learned to love that!  Those moments of boldness to explore and discover are the goals I continue to aim for. To me this is true freedom!  Being authentic to myself is how I overcome the fear of “I’m never going to be the next Picasso.”

RRM:  What art most inspires you? And this doesn’t need to come from your chosen media, and it doesn’t need to be one singular thing, it could be classical jazz and post-modern realism in literature, etc. 

Classical ballet and classical music most inspire me.  The techniques, the rigorous training and the dogged discipline entailed to achieve excellence is mind boggling to me.  The sacrifices and the focus involved to attain great performances are almost too painful.  But these artists are willing to go through it all for the sake of their art.

RRM: How have COVID-19 events changed your creativeness? 

Covid-19 has given me a new perspective, a new appreciation on being isolated. It has actually brought a spotlight to us Creatives. Why did I say this? Because as artists we already know what isolation is (and I still complain about it ). The loneliness of being isolated in the studio to finish a body of work can be overwhelming.  But during this quarantine season, I have stopped whining about isolation.  As a result, I discovered new resources to explore new angles and subject matters.  I have since revisited a couple of art projects that I put aside for a while and I started working on them alone.

RRM:  Some of the best art, across all genres and mediums, seems to come from suffering to some extent. Why do you feel this is so? 

Many great artists have experienced suffering, pain, and rejection. Their painful struggles have given them the courage and the drive to persist and to rise above it all.  The persistence, fearlessness, and the willingness to fail again and again as they do it a thousand times more until it is right, have produced success. Their failures and full dedication to their craft brought them to greatness. 

RRM:  What has being an artist brought to your life?

Being an artist has brought me joy and I love to bring joy to others as well.  It has also brought me confidence in fulfilling my purpose here and beyond.

” I like to capture a moment in time… share my experience and translate
it with colors, texture and light. “



Interview with Cynthia Llanes2023-08-05T14:38:01-04:00

My First Blog! December 2, 2019

Hello Art Lovers and Friends!

Welcome to my new website and blog!  It has been a long process revising and recreating my presence on the World Wide Web.  I am excited to share my new works from Windy Porch Studios here in beautiful Asheville, N.C. and my desire is to connect with all of you like-minded, creative souls, and those who love and support the arts and artists.

In these blog posts, I will be discussing a wide range of topics beneficial and relevant to artists, art lovers, and art collectors.  I will also be referencing and providing links to sites that I find interesting to my readers, and updating my web site with new art works as they are developed.

I feel this is all a new beginning. Moving from California to North Carolina was a big change but from West Coast to East Coast was another change. Not without its challenges but now we live up on a hill overlooking the Pisgah mountain range, with lots of evergreens, foliage and a view of the sunsets and sunrises. Truly a refreshing source of subject matter for my painting — but bugs are everywhere! And wildlife too but not all of them are bad. Ladybugs and leaves dominate the garden and the porch in autumn. Summer evenings we have fireflies which I love. But not the mosquitoes. Oh well, I realized we live in a temperate rain forest. The birds wake us up in the morning. I must have seen over 20 species of these adorable creatures! The cardinals are my favorite. They perch on the dogwood tree just across our bedroom window. Sunday mornings we watch the deer nibble on some of our plants. Seems like they love to visit on Sunday mornings. And yes there was Teddy Bear one afternoon who toppled down the bird house to enjoy the bird seeds. The pros and cons of living in the midst of Nature. We are thirty minutes away from downtown Asheville so we often visit the galleries to view incredible art. Blue Spiral, Haen, Momentum galleries are some of my favorites and the River Arts District are always a treat.  Another favorite past time is dining at Asheville restaurants for the eclectic and farm-to-table good eats.  The Asheville chefs have a knack to elevate any recipe. For one, I love the Kimchi fries at the White Labs brewery and restaurant. Yum! It’s a another Asheville fusion of Asian and American cuisine. Oops,  this is an art blog but I can’t stop talking about food!

I am looking forward to exploring the terrain of North Carolina with its luscious, enchanting beauty  as it continues  to inspire me, and open my heart and soul to new visions.

In my website, there is contact info for those who wish to reach out and engage with me and other readers.  But most of all, enjoy the journey with me. I am happy to connect, or chat via social media or even a visit to my studio!

Here are a few of my activity highlights:

Color Your Heart Painting Social is a group I started here at my Asheville home studio (Windy Porch Studios) to bring together art enthusiasts, hobbyists, and those who love to dabble with paint and brush while enjoying social interaction and making new connections and friendships.  I enjoy sharing my studio and artistic skills with others as part of my intention to  connect with the local community!  My studio is open most weekdays and weekends for two-hour sessions. Join us at Windy Porch Studios for creative time, snacks and refreshments, and ample gab! I will post regular updates on my new schedules.

I have joined outdoor paint-outs with these fun groups: Asheville Plein Air Artists and Preserving a Picturesque America who meet on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays at selected scenic locations of Western North Carolina. During wintertime, they have indoor sketching sessions at selected coffee shops/restaurants. I have joined many of their events and met wonderful, talented artists. I enjoy the camaraderie and sometimes an exchange of thoughts on art and life. It is a real treat to paint plein aire amidst Asheville’s gorgeous landscape. All types of artistic media are welcome to join for its weekly painting sessions. It is free!

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Asheville Art Museum

Attending the opening of the newly renovated Asheville Art Museum.  Visiting the museum was a truly inspirational walk.

art lab pix-72

Inspired after the museum visit. Back to my studio with my favorite tools.

a visit at Asheville museum of Art

Enjoying the Asheville Art Museum at downtown Asheville. It will remain as a great landmark for generations to come.

My First Blog! December 2, 20192023-08-05T13:19:23-04:00