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The Depth of a Smile

Oil on Canvas – 36” x 48”
January 2020
In this painting l explore recent neuroscience research focused on the fascinating evolution and function of the limbic system, which harbors emotions and memories. What inspired me to paint about this theme was work I have done with victims of tragedies and abuses in two very distinct countries and cultures: Colombia and Cambodia. Their laughter and beaming smiles are infectious, almost enough so that one forgets about the pain and suffering that has been endured; this is clearly the unconscious point. To constantly relive the experience of death, rape, hunger, slavery, displacement, sickness and abject poverty, no matter if threats remain or not, completely inhibits any ability to function, maintain, or improve the situation. The smiles of these people represents a deep mechanism that is helping them to cope and survive.

Ancestral Anaconda

Ancestral anaconda
36″ x 48″ – Oil on Canvas
July 2020
Tribes in the Colombian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Bolivian and parts of the Brazilian Amazon refer to the Anaconda as the “Mother of Water,” or “Yakumama” in Quechua. The shape of the body of the Anaconda forms the extensive Amazon river basin, and the water, in various ways, is seen as a giver of life for these communities. Depending on the tribe, the Anaconda (which is the world’s largest snake at around 30 feet in length and 500 pounds in weight ) can represent an originator of all life and a connection to the cosmos, or a god specifically of fertility, language, protection or strength.
For many Amazonian tribes concentrated in my home country of Colombia, the Anaconda is believed to be born from the Milky Way. It descends from the Cosmos, forming the Amazon river and its tributaries. From its mouth, life, communities and language are born.
I represent this legend here through a depiction of the milky way galaxy, a powerful Anaconda descending from the cosmos and forming the Amazon river basin, and a waterfall coming from its mouth as its tongue, giving birth to the living and speaking world.
⚡This painting is featured on The Solutions Journal Article “Colombia’s Dynamic Rivers: Integrated Interpretations and the Rights of Nature”!

Messenger of Water

Mixed Media – Oil and Acrylic on Canvas – 16” x 20”
November, 2017


One of the communities that I work personally with and study their beliefs and symbolism is called the Kamentsa. They are a deeply spiritual people, worshiping and symbolizing the natural world and their territory in the Cloud Forests of the Colombian Amazon.

This painting depicts the Frog, considered by the Kamentsa to be “The messenger of water and the goddess of fertility and femininity.” The geometric depiction is the Kamentsa symbol for the frog that they weave into many of their remarkable traditional crafts, and the central portion of the painting displays a traditional Kamentsa mask that is worn during ceremonies, and displays symbols and colors of water and femininity.

Freed Mind

Oil on Canvas – 20” x 28”
May 2017


The Kamentsa tribe is extremely traditional and spiritual, basing much of their beliefs on shamanism, symbolism, and traditional medicine. They are based in the western limits of the Amazon jungle in Putumayo, Colombia.

The Shaman, or “Taita” for the Kamentsa, has a duality with the Jaguar, the solitary leader of the Jungle. The Taita is known to be the solitary guide of the community, both in the spiritual and natural world. In this painting we have a Shaman transitioning into a Jaguar with a headdress of Macaw Parrot feathers, a symbol of freedom of mind and body. Additionally, above the face is the symbol of the Andean Bear, which represents Power for the Kamentsa. In the background is the Kamentsa symbol of the Sun, giver of life and energy, and the Moon, a sacred symbol of femininity.


Oil on Canvas – 12” x 48”
March 2017


This is a conceptual symbolic painting meant to portray various degrees of insecurity, and uncertainty, that are taking place with our planet and with many cultures. In Colombia, specifically, a recent Internationally acclaimed peace deal signed in November 2016 between the Colombian Government and the Marxist FARC guerillas, is viewed in the eyes of many indigenous communities in Colombia with great uncertainty.

Power vacuums have resulted in areas where the FARC are disarming, and illegal bands and government sponsored paramilitaries that represent multinational interests, are already moving in to fill those vacuums, and violently silencing anyone who speaks up against them. Expansion of Oil Palm monocultures, which destroy forests and biodiversity, is a prime example of a recent trend. Colombia, with the “peace” has plans to vastly expand their Oil Palm industry, which is already the fourth biggest producer in the world and largest in the Americas.


Oil on Canvas – 22” x 28”
July 2016


Inspired by the mythology of the Kamentsa tribe of the Colombian Amazon, whose beautiful creationary tale describes a lightning bolt striking a rainbow, and from there come crystals and Macaw Parrots to disperse life to the rest of the world. Looking on is the “Pachamama,” or mother earth.


Oil on Canvas – 24″ x 24″
August, 2015


A conceptual painting representing a life, world, and universe without limits: an Unbounded World!


Oil on Canvas – 20”x 24”
April 2015

Only a person who Risks is Free.

Khrut Vahana

Oil on Canvas -30” x 40”
December, 2014


Many symbols and spiritual beliefs are intertwined throughout South and Southeast Asia, transcending race, organized religion and historical territorial and military disputes. This is especially apparent through the close ties and parallel histories of Buddhism and Hinduism, now two of the world’s principal belief systems.

No two symbols better represent this transcendence than the Garuda, or “Khrut” as it is known in Thailand, and the Emerald Buddha. The Garuda is known in Hindu mythology to be the “Vahana,” or vehicle and protector, of Lord Vishnu, but is also prominent in Buddhist symbolism, and is often seen sculpted on the outsides of Buddhist temples. The Emerald Buddha has one of the most remarkable and improbable histories that can be imagined, surviving perilous travels and natural disasters throughout the region, and now resides in the Wat Phra Kaew (Emerald Buddha Temple) in Bangkok, Thailand, surrounded and protected by golden Garudas.


Oil on Canvas – 16” x 20”
April, 2014


Ayahuasca is a powerful psychedelic natural “potion” that has been used by indigenous Amazonian cultures for centuries, both for spiritualism and as a medicine (“self-cleansing” through drinking Ayahuasca is believed by the Shamans to help remove anything from parasites to infections to cancer).

More specifically, Ayahuasca is a boiled then condensed and concentrated mix of various leaves and vines, most notably the Banisteriopsis vine, which gives it a red color and is responsible for its principal psychoactive properties. The exact preparation depends on the Shamans and regiones.


Oil on Canvas 24” x 36”
March, 2014


In this symbolic work, I aim to project one of my most cherished concepts for living my life and doing my art: improvising and being spontaneous.
Some of the symbols in this painting which demonstrate this concept are a labyrinth with multiple exits, wind, a motor with crossed-wires, vision and light, time, and fun. These are basic structures or forces that precipitate spontaneous experiences and decisions.

The colors represent a profoundness of experience and serenity that is found when staying true to this philosophy. A hidden message can also be deciphered if one looks closely at the structure of the painting.
Improvise! Break away from routine and planning and so much more can be discovered!

Without Music Life Would Be A Mistake

Oil on Canvas – 24” x 48”
March 2014


This painting was inspired by one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite philosophers.

The Adequate Spark

Oil on Canvas – 24” x 36”
June, 2013


Using my imagination, I painted my interpretation of one of my favorite and most personal songs, “La Chispa Adecuada (The Adequate Spark)” by the Spanish rock band, Heroes del Silencio. Listen closely to the intelligent lyrics of this song and much of my symbolism will become clear.


Oil on Canvas – 24″ X 36″
January, 2013


This painting was done on commision and is a representation of the personality and characteristics of the man who commissioned the work. I was able to get to know him over a few days time, making careful observations, before beginning the work. This painting was nearly my last, with the oil fumes poisoning me due to poor ventilation in my working space, and an emergency hospital visit coming soon after completion. Art is about sacrifice, and it’s my passion, so I have no regrets.