I was recently invited into the studio of Pasadena painter Emily S. Nuñez. We met under relatively unusual circumstances – we both share the same chronic illness. We have also both chosen art, albeit different mediums, to shape our response to our illness. For Emily, the process of painting is a meditation, a way to find peace and healing in the midst of dealing with a very determined chronic illness. Her paintings of geodes and cacti shine with natural patterns, as if she’s found the hidden labyrinths and mandalas of the nature world.
Like Emily, I use my photography to cope with my illness. Some days my ability to live my life is severely limited due to my illness, so I use my art, my photography, to shape my vision of the world around me. I find beauty in the small and ordinary. When I’m struggling with my low blood pressure caused by showering (so annoying), I notice the droplets on the shower wall and the patterns they form as the light hits them. My illness paired with my photography has shown me how to find joy and beauty even during extreme pain and fatigue.
Emily's subjects illustrate how her art shapes her perspective as well. A nature and landscape painter originally from Virginia, she is fascinated by Southern California’s natural beauty. In the succulents and desert landscapes she paints, she finds “growth, resiliency, and survival.”
Check out her awesome work at www.emilysnunez.com.