The name of the painting which graces the cover of my new book is called Te Espero
THE COVER ART that graces my book, The New Latina's Bible, is so lovely. The image, painted by East Los Angeles native, Anna Alvarado, is subtle and infused with sacred stillness. I adore the colors that Anna used because they remind me of the tropics and the island where I was born. The flower in the woman's hair is sensual and the hoops give her a funky urban girl touch that resonates with me, a quintessential city girl. I like too that her lips are nicely lined and in red. I also adore Seal Press's treatment of the image, especially the font. It's a winner of a cover!
But when I found out the back-story of the artist and the painting, I fell in love even more deeply. Anna, originally from East Los Angeles, lives in Hacienda Heights with her boyfriend and three children. She is one of twenty-one grandchildren raised by Mexican grandparents.
"I was pregnant and listening to Los Panchos, Buena Social Club, Vicente Fernandez and Ana Gabriel and every time I played Los Panchos, the baby would move. No lie," she laughs. "I knew I having a girl so there were all these emotions about how one is a mother to a little girl," Anna tells me.
And that is what the painting took on she explains, 'a sense of serenity and peacefulness in knowing that it was going to be ok."
"Te Espero" is titled after a gorgeous song by the Mexican trio, Los Panchos of the same name and it's part of a 35-piece all female series titled, "Alma, Corazon y Vida," that Anna painted while she was pregnant with her third and only girl, Tatiana.
When it came to naming the paintings it was appropriate that they be blessed with the music that her grandfather loved and that she grew up listening to. Los Panchos also have a special place in my heart because it's the music that I grew up listening to. My mother is a fanatic of the group and bolero music in general, especially trio music of the 1950's and 1960's.
All of the women in the "Alma..." series have their eyes closed the artist says because of a feeling that she had of being content in the stage of life she was in. What's amazing is that Anna, a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, paints only with permanent marker and wood.
"I use wood because I like that it's raw and I am at the mercy of the grain. Wood is not perfect and women are pressured into always being perfect, yet there is so much beauty in that imperfection," she says.
So there you go: perfect beauty is actually only found in imperfection and appreciating that fact gets us closer to that stage in life where we find acceptance in living and really loving our own skin. I know it's easier said than lived but falling in love with our alleged imperfections is a worthy goal. You are perfect just as you are...
To see more of Anna's work check her gallery: http://dulcedetamarindo.com/