Willow's paintings are as colorful and eclectic as her life journey. In her portfolio you will find many images that reflect the sacredness of the earth, the divine feminine, and the spirit realms.
She has utilized geometric patterns, energy flows, and the transparencies to invoke a sense of the sacred. Archetypal images rooted in the time of the goddess culture and ethnic designs from numerous cultures call forth the ancient ways. The luminescence, fluidity and multidimensionality apparent in her work transport the viewer into more subtle realms of experience.
Willow earned a B.F.A. in fine arts from Boise State University, and a master's degree in Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University. Her career progressed through many stages, including teaching in the public schools, creating dance costumes and sacred masks, and making wearable art and costume jewelry. She has taught art to many students in many media. Willow also works as psychic reader, archetypal energy psychotherapist, and energy healer. She is the creator of the immensely popular Tarot of Transformation, along with her co-author Jasmin Cori, and she utilizes the deck in her psychic readings.
Willow has many gift items made from her images, which may include the textural elements of handmade paper collage and exotic yarns.
Willow Arlenea's dynamic visionary paintings have evolved to incorporate a unique blend of artistic influences. During her student years her first influences were Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, and Art Nouveau. She was deeply moved by the energy and passion of Van Gogh's paintings, delighted by Marc Chagal's magical realms and exotic distortions, and enticed by Gauguin's rich colors and dark skinned figures. Her eye soon turned to "primitive" art. She felt drawn to the decorative patterning and mystical symbolism found in Native American, African and Aborigional art, which worked their way into her paintings. A deep resonance with Islamic, Egyptian and Afghani styles also emerged.
Later Willow began working with transparency and overlapping images, painting a distinct edge to a figure, then allowing the interior to consist of what was previously on the canvas. A place of radiant light became central to most of her paintings, with distinct lights and darks and places of negative space. Contemporary Southwest artists such as Bonny, Veloy Vigil and R. C. Gorman began to visibly influence her work, as well as the wonderful shamanic paintings of Susan Seddon Boulet. Willow began incorporating the backlighting technique used by Boulet, as well as the biomorphic patterning of contemporary artist Helen Nelson-Reed. A dear friend introduced her to the beauty of sacred geometry, which appears in her most recent paintings.
Willow's work continues to evolve. For her, creating a reality on canvas is a dance of polarities. Hard edges balance with a loose expressive style. Lights and darks, flow and pattering, complementary colors, texture and negative space all come into harmony in her work, creating inspiring symphonies of light.