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These are perilous times and I can not look away or despair. I must paint what I can’t stop thinking about and what keeps me up at night. Everyday I’m bombarded with an overload of human misery and unspeakable horror that pierces my heart with sadness. I can only make sense of it all if I tear off a tiny piece and create works of art that speak to our common humanity and dignity. My narrative, figurative paintings are driven both by my past and a desire to make sense of the chaos surrounding our world.

As grounded as my work is in current political and social narratives, it is equally critical that my paintings are aesthetically compelling. It is simply not enough for me to tell momentous stories. My paintings must hold all the often disparate vignettes together-each moving part connected to the whole. I strive to contain the often chaotic action, creating areas of calm and reflection on the picture plane. I purposely imbue the work with an ironically cheerful color palette, challenging the viewer to move beyond the carnival-like colors to discover the underlining conceptual underpinnings of the work. My paintings seek to engage, delight and resonate.


Myra Eastman is a narrative, mostly figurative painter living in Santa Cruz, California. She is the 2018/19 recipient of the Santa Cruz County Rydell Fellowship. Her solo and group exhibitions include the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, Museum Educado Carrillo, and Monterey Peninsula College. She was invited to the Santo Foundation’s 2019 10th Anniversary Invitational Exhibition, the Painting Center in NYC and most recently a two person show at the Gearbox Gallery in Oakland, Ca.. Her work is included in the Catamaran Literary Reader, American Art Collector and Studio Visit.

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