We had the good fortune of connecting with Edna Pines and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Edna, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Creativity and inspiration have fed my soul and spirit since childhood. Before I had access to paper or canvas, I drew on the walls of my room, in the sand and dirt of my yard, and even on the asphalt that covered playgrounds I frequented. The world was my canvas and the beauty around me made everything seem possible. When I wasn’t drawing, I was imagining artistry in my mind. Clouds, shadows, rocks, trees—even a pothole in the road could be a sight that triggered the most intricate of creative visions.
Some things never change. Even today, unwrapping a blank canvas evokes feelings of childlike wonder.
I can’t help but indulge in the potential that every color, shape, and design waiting to be discovered holds for me. My goal has long been to pass these feelings of inspiration onto others.
The art of painting, in particular, has equipped me with a sense of self-worth and enjoyment that can’t be overlooked. There’s a confidence born from putting paint to canvas that finds a way of surpassing any struggles I’ve inherited as a woman, minority, or first-generation immigrant refugee in America.
My life has undoubtedly been rich in blessings, but my struggles have also defined my art and my path. The journey that my family made from Iran to the United States nearly 40 years ago is an experience that’s always with me.
At the tender age of 14, my family and I fled Tehran for the U.S. In doing so, we escaped the horrors of an anti-Semitic regime, but not before the unjust execution of a beloved family member.
Fleeing my homeland was an experience of letting go of everything I had ever known. Memories of a loving childhood surrounded by friends and fun were replaced with prospects of the unknown in an entirely new country. For the chance at a better and brighter life, we were willing to risk everything.
When I arrived in the United States, it was a relief to find my artistic passion still intact, especially as I struggled through the process of learning English and finding a way to fit into a new culture.
I found an unwavering sense of comfort in visiting museums during this period of my life. Time spent in these artistic spaces was a reminder that no matter where I found myself in the world, creativity could push me through difficulties.
Through art, I once again found confidence, the ability to be kind to myself, and a voice that deserved to be heard. I experienced a renewed sense of strength and a place in which I could reconcile cultures that seemed so often to clash.
Fast forward 40 years to the life I’ve built in San Diego. Today, I’m married to a loving husband who hails from Ohio, and together, we share two smart, independent, and strong adult daughters.
Looking back, I can clearly see that all of the pieces of myself and my many experiences continue to culminate on the canvas before me. I still find inspiration in the beauty of the world around me, but I also acknowledge the bittersweet elements of life that add their color to the things I create.
Much like life itself, I honor the complexities that come along with creative expression by painting in versatile styles. From a modern focus to impressionism, I find my works are inspired by everything from nature and travel to classical music and more.
Landing on techniques that transfer that inspiration from my heart to the canvas is what brings me joy. For that reason, I don’t set limits when it comes to these techniques. I find as much freedom in digital illustrations and painting as I do in jewelry-making and mixed media.
Ultimately, art is still taking me on a journey, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It encourages me to believe in myself. To take those risks that feel impossible and be okay with making mistakes. Perhaps more importantly, it reminds me to celebrate every step I’ve taken forward.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Am very sensitive and in tune with nature all around me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The first stop is to my home, for some good homemade Persian food. Then onto the village of La Jolla for some great walking and shopping in the village of La Jolla, to the beaches. Maybe grab dinner at Eddie V’s Restaurant for dinner with an ocean view.
Another day would be dedicated to Balboa Park which is a beautiful historic 1,200 acre urban park, which has lots of museums including a world famous art museum. And, if there’s time in the evening, we would go to an outdoor symphony set along the water.
Finally, would let my visiting best friend choose from Seaport Village, a beautiful urban area along the water, downtown’s Little Italy, the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, Coronado, which is a beautiful city located on an island across from downtown San Diego, and finally, from many different natural trails to go hiking.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband and family.