I am Fernanda Clariana. My last name is originally from Cataluña, Spain. It means "Clear space within the clouds, or Clear Light." I was born in BERNAL, Buenos Aires, Argentina... City of Tango, mate (a traditional South American caffeine-rich herbal infused drink), and prolific "life-long" friendships.
A Personal Story of Healing through Arts
Fernanda Clariana was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Arts and Communication, from the National University of Buenos Aires and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, from The Graduate Institute, Connecticut. In addition, Fernanda is a Reiki Master practitioner/instructor, and a Qigong practitioner/instructor.
Fernanda began her career in the United States at a newspaper in Colorado, and then as a graphic designer and art director in New York City. Currently at Yale New Haven Hospital, she creates and implements holistically-oriented programs to enhance the patient and staff experience. Her unique Complementary Health Program “Oasis for Healing” received the 2015 Extraordinary Program Award from the American Hospital Association. Fernanda is the Coordinator for Smilow Cancer Hospital’s creative art volunteers and musicians. She is also a member of the Auxiliary Art Committee at Yale New Haven Hospital, and assists with selection and display organization of visual art in the hospital.
One of Fernanda’s passions has long been to explore the process of expressive artistic creation, and among other artistic pursuits including music and poetry, she began painting in high school and continued for many years. However, more recently, for several years Fernanda felt artistically and emotionally unable to paint.
Then suddenly in the summer of 2016, Fernanda underwent emergency brain surgery, In those challenging times, she started expressing her feelings, emotions, and spirituality once again, in paintings – and she has not stopped painting since. She feels that her artistic expression flows naturally once again, and at the same time, she experiences her art as a way of self healing and practices mindful painting one brush stroke at a time, enjoying every color and shape that emerges.
Studies indicate that artistic expression can change a person’s attitude and, following upon that, their physiology: the body’s physiology can change from stress-response to a state of deep relaxation, from fight-or-flight to a state conducive to creativity and inspiration. Art can change a person’s perceptual and emotional states. Art, meditation, and other healing modalities all can enhance our adaptive responses and our inner focus, freeing us to (re-)enter the world of emotional imagery and visions. Fernanda’s paintings reflect her inner visions, and with apparent subject matters from the recognizable to the surreal, always somehow, outright or mysteriously, show us numinous scapes of fore-sight and in-sight, thought and memory, journey and emotion.
One of Fernanda’s favorite paintings emerged after deep meditation, just before her brain surgery. "Volvimiento" re-presents a vision of and feeling for a subliminal place, where kindred souls are awaiting our arrival, in bliss and well-being: as we move in(ward), this place opens before or within us, somehow at the same time new and familiar, intriguing and warm, bizarre and enticing; fascinating us with alterations of, and holding us weightless within, recognition of these colored geometric landscapes and these vibrations of the homeward heart.
For Fernanda, the challenges she has gone through have brought her back to her art, with renewed passion and new vision. Her inward journey has found, created, and inspired the colors, shapes, and themes of her work; her art unfolds and reveals for us this journey. Fernanda paints in quiet moments as she allows her inner vision to guide her; from which emerge both the familiar and the startling, the enticing and the intriguing, the blissful and the bizarre.
by Gamelyn Dykstra
Self-Portrait - Painted in New Year's Eve of 2017
Exhibits & Presentations:
Exhibited her artwork in various art shows organized in the University of Fine Arts of La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she received her BA in Visual Communication & Design (1990 – 1994)
Participated in the Hoboken Artist Open Studio Tour, in New Jersey (2005-2007)
Exhibited as a solo artist in the New Haven City Wide Open Studio Tour. The theme was “Well-being.” Her artwork was exhibited for one month at mActivity Health Club in East Rock, New Haven, Connecticut (10/2018)
Exhibited her art at the Cheshire Public Library, hosted by the Cheshire Art League and conducted a presentation and interactive demo on the theme of “MINDFUL PAINTING.” (February 6, 2019)
Exhibited her art, as a solo artist for the month of March, at the Yale New Haven Hospital – St. Raphael Campus Art Wall (03/2019)
Eleven of her paintings were exhibited in SEC-TV Station, Groton, CT., while her presentation on Mindful Paining was televised, twice a day airing in several towns throughout Connecticut’s shoreline (between June – August 2019)
Exhibited four paintings in juried "Fall" Gallery Show at the Farmington Libraries, CT. (August - October 2019)
Exhibited four paintings and prints at the Cheshire "Art in the Garden" Gallery Show & Sale. Group exhibit with the Cheshire Art League. (Oct 11-21/2019)