We had the good fortune of connecting with Adonna Ebrahimi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adonna, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Nature inspires me! I have always been a lover of flowers and they are the focus of most of my work. When I am planting flowers this is what I notice…they have a general, basic design that repeats in thousands of forms. And yet, each one is its own miracle of intricate shape, texture and fragrance. I find it so magical. A single flower can compel us to JOY. And when one flower combines with some others – of the same species or not – in a single spot, the result can mesmerize an unsuspecting viewer. I seek that power when I paint!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A great deal of my work is inspired by nature as it brings me a sense of joy. I challenged myself to use natural objects from the outdoors and discarded items from the home. The contrast of these dual sources brings competing energy to my process. I like the pleasant tension! When I press my fingers into the deep smooth paint and onto the flat course canvas, it sparks a sensation of joy and energy and reveals my interpretation of flowers. It is my JOY. I continually seek instruction from other artists and I get excited at the endless possibilities of creating, using different mediums. The path to a being a professional artist is certainly not easy and definitely an ongoing journey – I find the biggest challenge is doing all the administrative work when what calls upon my heart is to smudge my space, close the door of my studio space, crank up the tunes, and see what magic happens on the canvas ( and sometimes, let’s get real……its not all magic…..and I’ve learned that is ok.) It’s an old cliche of course, but “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither is a career in art. Some days it’s hard to “show up” and one of my art pals says to me “just begin”. Great advice. Begin again. I “began again” 5 years ago after a divorce. I went back to what brought me joy – and that is creating art. Somewhere along the way I lost a big part of myself. Now when I can get lost in the art of painting, and in particularly flowers, I am lost in a good place. A great place in fact !
2 years ago I applied and received a 2 week residency in France. I have to tell you, this was my first journey to Europe in more than 20 years, my first EVER solo journey, and I was WAY out of my comfort zone. After the first couple of days of dealing with the mind monkeys ” you don’t belong here”, I finally settled in. It brought me so much confidence. I had a two-woman show on my calendar, so going in I knew I would paint work for that show. Upon my return I scouted out some space and ended up with an art studio in mid-town Ventura with a community of artists. I have found being in a community of like-minded is an important part of the mix. Since then, I have enjoyed a couple of solo shows, many group shows in Ventura and Santa Barbara, teaching art to home-schoolers, paint nites around my local area, a TV interview at at local station in Santa Barbara, a podcast interview and my art published in magazines and a book. It’s been a ride! Next up…..my art on a wine-infused beer label in Los Angeles – due to release in November and I hope to have a meet and greet. Follow along with my dreams…..I want to do licensing and online courses! It is my hope that when you see my art, you feel the same sense of joy and wonder I feel when I’ve created it, and that it uplifts your own space, where you work or live. Your joy is my joy – isn’t that sweet?!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Oh….just to break up the trip from LAX to my house, when a friend comes to visit I most often love to stop in Malibu for a walk along the pier, lunch at Malibu Farm Cafe ( divine!) and stop for an hour or two at Zuma Beach…hello station number 9. Of course, I love to share my tribe of friends, so a girls nite out ( or in ) at my home is an absolute must. Can you say wine, cheese/crackers, veggies…..and did I mention ….wine? Visit with me, and I must also drag you to see some art (whether you are into it or not ) and the Getty Museum and Norton Simon Museum are my favs. Where I live is full of open space, so definitely a hike is in order – Satwiwa has lovely views and moderate hikes. Many of my guests are from the mid-west where I grew up, so the Ocean is always a no-brainer, and the tide-pools at Leo Carillo and the nearby little caves are always a treat to see. Nearby Malibu Cafe entices me with its scenic views and a jaunt to downtown Ventura on Main Street to catch up with my art buddies and the local shopping is always on the agenda.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh…..there are so many cheerleaders in my life! I don’t know where I would be without my tribe of friends. My dear friends, Jennifer and Michelle, encouraged me to search deep and seek out what brought me joy. I lost the joy for so long and now that I have re-discovered it, I will never let it go. My sister, Cindy, consistently lifts me up and says she appreciates my tenacity ( I love that ). Ryan, my youngest son, is always offering words to cheer me on, as well as my artist friends from Ventura and art pals Karen Payton Art and Shannon Celia Fine Art. ( both on social media ) I’m following a new artist ( music) by the name of Tuesdayys and you can find him on Spotify and Apple Music.