My grandfather showed me how to use tools, wire a house, make cider, fish, ride a horse, build a good fire, mix mortar, make stools and shelves... He also mesmerized me with his tall tales, and his singing. He gave me the power to laugh at myself, the wisdom to forgive our oppressors, and the freedom to use my imagination and escape into a make believe place when I needed to. After his death, I used to sit under our favorite fruit tree and stare at the sky through the branches until I would see small spheres of light and color dancing and floating on top of the leaves. My brother, my sister and I had to move to the city, and live with my parents. My father was an amazing painter. His landscapes made me want to step inside his painting and never come out. My father would let me paint along his side, and I always painted the same thing; the fruit tree with the dancing spheres of colorful light. One time I looked at his perfect trees, compared them with my measly trees covered in blobs of colors, and I started to cry. My father put his brush away, sat down on the floor and said " I feel the same way you do! My trees are picture perfect just like the ones outside the window, but they don't invoke any feelings! I look at your trees, and I feel alive and happy. I paint trees, and you paint Happy Trees of Life! Don't loose your innocence and your naivety when you paint!"
My father died when I was in 6th grade, and my mother became a full time college student in a large city. I became the head of the household, and the sole provider of the "Three musketeers". We had "stuff" but we were cash poor, so I had to design and sew clothing by hand, make accessories (hair, handbags, book.bags, jewelry, belts, scarves, hats). We became the trend setters in our town, and I started getting orders for one of a kind items. Everybody wanted a "iolanda original". We would have a "Fashion Show Party", and displayed everything as one would in an art gallery. I could see colors jump out of every item, and I sold everything way before the Party was over. Selling the handmade items and tutoring my classmates gave me enough cash flow to cover the mortgage, utilities and some food. I alleviated my brother and sister's fears and worries by telling them made up tall tales and fairy tales. I soon realized that I had to find a way to remember those stories so I can repeat them upon request, so I introduced the different color birds with magical powers to help the main character conquer any obstacle...
I moved to Lancaster 22 years ago, and have been here ever since. I have a small shop in Lancaster, and sold my art pieces on eBay for years. I never had a negative feedback.
I am happily married, mother of one teenage girl, a 21 year old navy man, and a 22 year old young lady.
I am a dreamer. I love to paint angels that resemble people of all races. God gifted me with an amazing imagination, and I firmly believe that God’s imagination is limitless. He gave us different skin color and a wide range of sizes. He took the time to create a variety of eye shapes and hair textures…
I believe that it would be disrespectful to assume that the angels that He surrounds Himself with are just white blond women.
I strive to create, to inspire and be inspired, to learn and to teach, and to simply enjoy God’s gifts. I take the time to slow down when I am touched by a sight, sound, taste or smell that thrills my senses. I am still able to see things through the eyes of a child, and that gives me the freedom to paint like a child would. I often use bright, bold colors to paint my happy trees and I have been known to dress up my angels in neon colored clothing. I paint with my heart, and I give new life to things that most people would throw away.