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Cristina Acosta Floral Logo Signature

License Cristina Acosta Style

Artist, Cristina Acosta is  mainstream with a Latino vibe, positioned perfectly for the diversity of the contemporary marketplace. Cristina’s images and reputation as an expert in the home decor market position her as the ideal licensee.

Her work first appeared on the national home decor scene in 1991 when she distributed her Cristina Acosta® Signature line of ceramic tile through the Kohler company Ann Sacks Tile & Stone stores. Since then, her artistry has been visible consistently on a national level. Her imagery is  mainstream with a Latino vibe, positioned perfectly for the diversity of the contemporary marketplace. The published author of books and articles, Cristina has built a foundation that positions her artistry for successful release into licensed products.

License Latina artist Cristina Acosta’s brand for your product line. Her offering includes: Home Decor textiles, tabletop and furnishings; Paper products and more.

Contact Cristina to discuss your proposal.

Decorate with Paint, Cristina Acosta Bedroom Cover
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Cristina Acosta Ceramic Art Tile ©
Hallmark magazine Wicanders ad featuring Cristina Acosta
Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault, Why potty accidents happen and how to make them Stop, By Steven Rogers with Suzanne Schlosberg, illustrated by Cristina Acosta
When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist Cristina Acosta
Paint Happy by Cristina Acosta
Paint Decor - Cristina Acosta, Ceramic designs
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“. . her sense of style and color is rooted in whimsy.”  Decorate with Paint

When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist Cristina Acosta

When Woman Became the Sea, Hispanic Latino Children’s Book

Hispanic or Latino children’s books actually written or illustrated by a Latino/a in the U.S. during the 1990s were rare birds. Though the Hispanic population of the United States was quickly becoming the dominant subculture, not a lot in the arts, design and decor fields reflected that fact. Fortunately, forward-thinking Anglos that were already positioned in the publishing world took notice and did their part. The owners and staff and writers at Beyond Words Publishing in the 1990s were those people.

During the time writer, Susan Strauss was putting together her new book based on a Costa Rican Creation story, she happened to be seated next to me at the brunch of a mutual friend. Our conversation turned to her story and by the time we were done with our meal we had a plan to present to her publisher, Beyond Words. Our plan was accepted and I joined the team as the Latina illustrator.

Though that doesn’t sound like a big deal now that time has passed, it was then. I was so excited. Not only did I get to make a contribution as an artist and mother (my daughter was five at the time,”When Woman Became the Sea,” was published), I got the personal satisfaction of being a published Latina. It was very gratifying. I don’t care for cultural appropriation. Despite the best of intentions when bringing Hispanic products to market, when all of the names attached to the products are Anglo or culturally divergent, it can come across as appropriation.

The book has long since sold out and you can only get copies on Amazon, I am still very proud of the project. The beautiful marriage between Susan Strauss’ elegant writing, the typesetting and my illustrations is holding up well.

Here’s a few of the reviews for “When Woman Became the Sea”: 

“A lovely creation myth from Costa Rica is retold in read-aloud rhythm and illustrated with gorgeous, tropical paintings.  Sound effects are indicated by the waving, explosive typeface that will inspire dramatic story hours.  The rich colors and vivid patterns of Acosta’s illustrations echo Latino pottery and design, making this an irresistible package.”

Kirkus Reviews, September 1998

“Acosta illustrates the tale with swirling, thick-lined tropical scenes in which form takes second place to vibrant, emphatic color.  The eye-catching visuals. . . and the author’s natural-sounding language. . . make the tale a promising candidate for reading aloud.”
Booklist, October 1998

“When Woman Became the Sea; A Costa Rican Creation Myth recounts an allegory of the intertwined origins of trees and water in the interplay between Thunder and Sea.”
Bookman’s Weekly, November 1998

“Strauss is a storyteller and her colloquial, rhythmic narrative just begs to be read or told aloud.  The vivid acrylic illustrations make the most of strong shapes, swirling brush strokes and clean blocks of color to create a primitive style emboldened by a sense of movement, perfect for a myth about making and doing.  The page layout is excellent, with spiraled, script like print balancing and enhancing the kinetic look of the artwork.”
School Library Journal, February 1999

When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist Cristina Acosta
When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist © Cristina Acosta

When Woman Became the Sea.  By Susan Strauss    Illustrated By Cristina Acosta

Published Fall 1998, Beyond Words Publishing, Inc. Hillsboro, Oregon    ISBN# 1-885223-85-4

Though out of print, used copies may be found on Amazon.
Original paintings (acrylic on paper) are available for sale and/or exhibits. Contact Cristina with your request.

Ocean Series: Otter with Sea Star by Cristina Acosta

Ocean Art Series: Otter and Sealife

Born in Los Angeles, my parents lived in Playa del Rey, a little beach community near the LAX airport. The sounds of ocean waves and airplanes were the white noise of my young life. Looking back over the ensuing years I realize that the ocean became a metaphor for much of my life. When I see otters, seals, dolphins and other sea mammals, I feel especially blessed.

These paintings celebrate the ocean.

Title: Ocean Art Series: Otter
Medium: Mixed media Acrylic with resin on wood panel
Size: 24″ x 24″

Title: Ocean Art Series: Starfish with Kelp
Medium: Mixed media Acrylic with resin on wood panel
Size: 12″ x 24″

Note: this series of paintings are designed to be shown singly or together in pairs, trios or more. Like tiles on a wall, they can mix together in many different groupings.

Call me to commission paintings of your favorite animals

 

California State Bear Flag paintings by Cristina Acosta

California State Bear Flags Paintings

Born in the Bear State, my grandmother would tell me stories about the last Mexican Governor, Pio Pico. Her godmother, Catalina (Catherine) Pico was Pio Pico’s granddaughter. Born in 1904, my grandmother was her namesake, Catalina Ortiz. Though the school books of the time didn’t tell us much about the Mexican War and the Spanish/Mexican experience of the “conquered” people, my grandmother’s stories gave me a richer and less glossy vision of history.

I love the richness of the State of California in all of it’s complexities. These paintings are inspired by that love.

Title: California State Bear Flag Paintings
Medium: Mixed media Acrylic with resin on wood panel
Size: 48″ x 24″ each painting of the two paintings.

Note: this series of paintings are designed to be shown singly or together in pairs, trios or more. Like tiles on a wall, they can mix together in many different groupings.

Call me to commission paintings of your favorite animals

Woodland Series Raccoons by Cristina Acosta

Woodland Raccoons Contemporary Wildlife Art

Contemporary cabin art and wildlife art mixed with a retro flashback define my new Woodland Series of mountain art. I was inspired by the mid 20th Century WPA Works Project Administration art in National Park Lodges like the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, Oregon and the Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite Valley, California; my childhood summers spent at our family cabin in Big Bear Lake, California; and living in Bend, Oregon for many years.

The natural world has always been my muse. Once again I am living in California and seeing it anew after a 30 year absence. Living in the Palm Springs, California desert, I’ve now lived in every climate zone the West Coast has to offer. And now I’m painting about it!

Title: Woodland Series: Raccoons

Size: 36″ x 36″   Medium: Mixed Acrylic, Graphite and Resin on wood panels

Year: 2015

 

 

Desert Series: Jack Rabbit and Ocotillo by ©Cristina Acosta

Jack Rabbit and Ocotillo Cactus – Desert Animals in Art

Desert art paintings of ocotillo cactus ringed with jack rabbit and quail. Don’t think “nothing” in the landscape means an absence of life when you are gazing at an expanse of desert landscape. Life is everywhere in the natural world. The small animals of the desert are a busy group. I love the long spindly ocotillo cactus with it’s red blooms. It stands watch over the desert life, intertwining with the world at hand.

Title: Desert Series
Medium: Mixed media Acrylic with resin on wood panel
Size: 36″ x 36″

Note: this series of paintings are designed to be shown singly or together in pairs, trios or more. Like tiles on a wall, they can mix together in many different groupings.

Call me to commission a painting of your favorite animals

Woodland Series: Mama Bear and Cub with Crows

Mama Bear with Cub – Woodland Series

Childhood summers spent in Big Bear Lake, California, included not only a few bear sightings, but a bear visiting our cabin deck eating our dog’s food. It followed trails of cookies that neighbors naively thought would “lead it back into the forest,” and came back for more. When more became too much, the young adult male bear would climb one of the surrounding Ponderosa pines and look down on the dogs and kids. I was a 12 year old learning to paint during that summer and used that bear for a painter’s model. Within a couple of weeks the local Forest Ranger had successfully trapped it for relocation in the nearby San Gorgonio wilderness.

I’ve loved painting bears ever since. I’ve been working on a series of bear art paintings perfect as cabin art and cabin decor.

Title: Woodland Series – Mama Bear with Cub Price:
Medium: Mixed media Acrylic with resin on wood panel
size: 36″ x 36″

Title: Crows Among the Cover Price:
Medium: Mixed media Acrylic with resin on wood panel
Size: 12″ x 36″

Note: this series of paintings are designed to be shown singly or together in pairs, trios or more. Like tiles on a wall, they can mix together in many different groupings.

Call me to commission your favorite Woodland Animals

Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault, Why potty accidents happen and how to make them Stop, By Steven Rogers with Suzanne Schlosberg, illustrated by Cristina Acosta

Illustrating Children’s Books

Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist Cristina Acosta“Acosta illustrates the tale with swirling, thick-lined tropical scenes in which form takes second place to vibrant, emphatic color.  The eye-catching visuals. . . and the author’s natural-sounding language. . . make the tale a promising candidate for reading aloud.”
Booklist, October 1998

Growing up the oldest child in a family of seven children, books were my salvation. I could open a book and shut out the rest of the world. Reading was not only my way to lose myself, it led me to find myself.
As a very young child I remember  staring at the images in books, imagining myself in those worlds. As I grew up, I continually read to my younger siblings, often memorizing entire books, especially my favorite Dr. Seuss titles. I feel such gratitude to the artists and writers that crafted the beautiful and expansive words and pictures that were those books. They led me to my life as an artist and writer.

Illustrating books was on my life list, and something that I enjoy doing.

When I became a  mother, it was important to me to contribute to a book that would influence my daughter’s life. Susan Strauss wrote When Woman Became the Sea, a Hispanic creation story (based on myths from the indigenous people of Costa Rica), and I illustrated it. When I read my dedication of  that book to my daughter I feel gratitude and pride to be a member of the group of authors and illustrators that have so positively influenced generations of children.

See my art book Paint Happy! (North Light Books ©2002, 2004) for examples of my art and instruction concepts.

Paint Happy, art instructional how to paint book by artist Cristina Acosta, ©2002, 2004, North  Light Books
Paint Happy, art instructional how to paint book by artist Cristina Acosta, ©2002, 2004, North Light Books

To explore writing and/or illustrating your own Children’s literature check out the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators SCBWI.

When Woman Became the Sea (Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, OR©1998) is out of print. You may be able to find a used copy on Amazon.

Contemporary Hispanic art Guadalupe with Crown - The World is Her Heart

Guadalupe Contemporary Retablo

Contemporary retablo of the Guadalupe with Crown is an ex-voto. Titled, Guadalupe with Crown, the World is Her Heart, in this image the Guadalupe holds the earth within her heart. The spinning earth nestles into her body, a universe of spacious emptiness. Her image is created on sheets of sterling silver metal leaf layered with oil paints glazes and layered again with more silver. Her gaze is straight-forwards and engages you.

An ex-voto is a type of retablo that portrays a non-typical version of the revered religious figure. I painted this version of the Guadalupe to show her as a nurturing and loving universe gently enfolding the planet earth.

Title: Guadalupe with Crown, the World is Her Heart

Medium:  Oil; 22kt gold, sterling silver leaf on vintage Ponderosa Pine wood panel reclaimed from a 1904 wood mill and formed by an artisan woodworker into a single panel.

Size: 18″ x 24″

Year: Fall 2007, 2009

 

Paint Happy by Cristina Acosta

Artist Cristina Acosta Teaches Students How to Paint Happy

More than technique, more than practice Cristina tries to remind beginners that being

creative involves a mind-set. “It’s about being generous with yourself and putting yourself in alignment with the largest creative energy in the world. It is amazing, but that energy will flow right through you.” 

Cristina Acosta, quoted in Paint Decor Magazine, Winter 2004

Painting encourages creativity and intuition
Painting encourages creativity and intuition

I began teaching at an early age, teaching skiing and swimming at the local mountain resort in Southern California when I was a teenager. As I grew in my artistry, I taught a variety of art classes and workshops, including a five year stint teaching drawing and painting classes at Central Oregon Community College, in Bend, Oregon.

Currently I look at my articles and books as the main method with which I continue to teach. Occasionally, I will teach a week-long workshop. I usually base the curriculum on my book Paint Happy! , though I have taught

Sidewalk Chalk Kids Art Class by Cristina Acosta
Art Festival chalk art for kids event led by Cristina

some workshops introducing students to the Hispanic art of the Ex-Voto Retablo — a form of art used to express gratitude.
I also enjoy giving presentations to organizations. In the past I’ve taught sessions at Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington State and for various arts organizations .

  • You are welcome to contact me regarding teaching for your organization.
  • If you are not representing an organization and would like me to teach you over the phone and internet, we can set up a plan and the price.