People in Your Neighborhood: La Jolla artist Edna Pines honors freedom, father and nature in new exhibit

La Jolla artist Edna Pines' new exhibit, "The Many Shades of Us," opens Thursday, March 31, at BFree Studio in The Village.
(Courtesy of Edna Pines)

Painting her way through her thoughts on family, freedom and facets, La Jolla artist Edna Pines will display several of her images in a solo show at BFree Studio in The Village.

The exhibit, called “The Many Shades of Us,” will run from Thursday, March 31, through Sunday, April 17, at 7857 Girard Ave.

The show, which contains seascapes, birds, florals and other paintings inspired by nature, is so titled because “starting with myself, I have many shades,” Pines said. “We all have different personalities; we wear different masks for different occasions and different people.”

Thus, her paintings are done in a variety of materials and methods. Pines has “so much creativity in my head that I cannot stick to one style. … I’m multifaceted,” she said.

"Hidden Treasure" is one of Edna Pines' seascapes.
(Courtesy of Edna Pines)

One element that is consistent throughout is her use of color. “I want to make people happy when they look at my paintings,” she said. “I want the excitement of the color, the vibrancy of bringing color from nature into their soul and ignite some happy memories that they have.”

Pines and her family immigrated to San Diego from Iran after her uncle was executed during the Iranian Revolution of 1979 for being Jewish and having power under the shah’s former regime. They ended up in La Jolla.

As a young teenager, Pines struggled with English once arriving in California and experienced “a huge adjustment [learning] about the culture, the people, the food, the language diversity in this beautiful country,” she said.

Pines said she’s been an artist since she was able to hold a pen in her hand, forming images in her mind from clouds and cracks in the pavement — “the small things in life.”

But she stopped creating due to the shock of having to leave her home country.

“We didn’t plan on coming here permanently,” she said. “My dad had to stay behind [in Iran] for nine years.”

Eventually, Pines began babysitting and using the money to buy art supplies.

“I started doing what … I was always passionate about,” she said. “I love making things out of nothing. I was very creative that way. Doing that helped me become happy again. And it was like finding my new best friend.”

“Painting helped me a great deal to learn and to stand on my own feet and believe in myself and be stronger. Being inspired by nature pulled me out of the pit and gave me a voice,” she added.

“When you’re in the ocean or you look at it, you feel a sense of the way it pulls you in and welcomes you, and then at the same time pushes you out, throws you out to deal and learn to survive.”

With “The Many Shades of Us” collection, Pines endeavored to “honor the freedom I felt coming to this country, the emotional pull and the push that I had experienced, and I still experience, because I’m still growing,” she said.

“Being inspired by nature pulled me out of the pit and gave me a voice.”

— Edna Pines

The exhibit also pays homage to her father’s happiness at seeing her art now.

“My dad has Alzheimer’s. When he sees my paintings … he knows who I am,” Pines said, pausing to collect herself. “He may not remember that I am his daughter, but he remembers that I am an artist and … there’s light in his eyes again.”

‘The Many Shades of Us’

When: Thursday, March 31, through Sunday, April 17. An artist reception with Edna Pines will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 2. She will give an artist talk at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 7, and paint live at 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the exhibition.

Where: BFree Studio, 7857 Girard Ave., La Jolla

Cost: Free


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