elena gallegos

C.S. Tiefa Artist Statement

I paint landscapes because I seek peace. Not "world peace" (although that would be nice, it's out of my control). I seek personal peace and I hope to pass a bit of that peaceful space along to others through my images of the New Mexico landscape.

Quiet is a hard thing to find. I am beginning to equate quiet with peace and with freedom. I studied art in school because I wanted to be "free"—even if I did not understand what that meant to me at the time.

In the past, I lamented that visual art could not provoke in an audience an intense emotional response so inherent in the art of music. Many artists have sought such an ability in their work—Matisse, for one, but I have come to seek a different intent in my work lately.

Music's ability to provoke emotion, often through memory or some other mental connection, is amazing, but I now feel that silence is more important. In silence, perhaps we can breathe and not be remembering or anticipating, not connecting with the past or with the future, but just be here now—just as I try to be completely present when I am painting. I'd like people to find a small piece of "now", quiet now, when looking at my work.