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home : features : coverartist August 23, 2017

Big message on a small scale
"The World on Her Shoulders" -- painting by Eileen Espinosa
by Norma Smith Olson


Eileen Espinosa had initially envisioned a larger portrait of her daughter for her painting, "The World on Her Shoulders," that's featured on the cover of this magazine and was in the HBOC exhibit at the Regla de Oro Gallery. "I had already made sketches of Tammy carrying all of this burden." But one day, her daughter handed her a smooth, oddly shaped rock and Espinosa saw her artistic vision on this smaller canvas.

"Sometimes you just don't know where inspirations are going to bring you," Espinosa says. She considers the artwork to be a co-creation with her daughter, Tammy Ortegon, who photographed the rock on a patterned fabric background.

Espinosa was born in Minneapolis and raised by a single mom, who was also artistic. "I, like my mother, had trouble believing or being able to call myself an 'artist.' My children and grandchildren have always inspired me and have been my biggest fans," Espinosa says. Her mother encouraged Espinosa's interest in drawing, creating with papier-mâché and clay, painting rocks and furniture. And, like her mother, she encourages her daughters and now, grandchildren, to be artistic.

"Art has always been something I go to for relaxation and solitude. I have suffered with depression and anxiety through most of my life, along with being a three-time cancer survivor. Without art in my life, I would be lost," Espinosa says.

You can see more of Espinosa's artwork at ColorWheel Gallery, owned by her daughter at 46th and Grand Ave. in South Minneapolis.

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