I am part Cupeño, Luiseño, and Kumeyaay, three tribes located in San Diego County.  My work is a reflection on the Southern California desert and mountain landscapes, as well as the creation stories and traditional songs called Bird Songs that are sung throughout this area.  
In these stories and songs, plants and animals are the characters and are considered to be people.  The stories and songs tell about how the world came to be and how the people came to be where they are.  Some of the Bird Songs tell about the journey of the people, which is said to parallel the migration of the birds.  They tell about what the birds see on their journey:  the mountains, deserts, night sky, and other landmarks.   
At times, I include abstract pictograph (Native American rock art) designs found throughout the region:  dot patterns, chevrons, diamond patterns, spirals, and helixes.  Designs from Southern California Indigenous basketry and vessels used for food and water storage often make their way into my work.  The Indigenous people of Southern California are known for their beautiful, intricately woven baskets, which often use flower, snake, and geometric shapes.  My great-grandmother, Salvadora Valenzuela, was a noted basket maker.
I find inspiration hiking in Anza Borrego State Park, which was home to the Cupeño and Kumeyaay, as well as to the Cahuilla.  The surrounding areas continue to be home to these tribes.  I think about my connection to these lands through my ancestors who have lived there for thousands of years.  I think about how we are connected to the land through our stories and songs. 
Desert Composite Iv
Monotype
Desert Composite vi
monotype
Desert Composite viii
oil on Wood Panel
Desert Composite IX
Encaustic on Wood Panel
Desert Composite xi
Encaustic on Wood Panel
Desert Composite xvi
monotype
Rock Wren III
Monotype
Bird Dreams XXXIII
Monotype 

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