Have you conjectured, why you feel so moved by seeing an ocean painting?


The emotions I felt when I met the oceans mixed media materic paintings by Costa Rican artist Cristina Gutierrez-Cruz, the limitlessness of ocean expanded my age horizon. The calm aspect of some of her oceans, like the one entitled SUBMERGING THE MIND soothes our minds. The rolling of the waves in her painting NAVIGATING MIND sets our feelings sprinting. Cristina is one of the artists who authentically paint the many tempers of the sea, which is the reason why she never fails to earn our appreciation.


Her abstract and mixed media painting with sand and acrylic colours on Masonite or canvas stimulated by the grandeur of ocean expand our state of mind.

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, HIGH TIDE, mixed media, polyptych, 308 cm. x 120 cm 2018

Cristina's seascape paintings are rich with symbolism. Seascape is often associated with personal deep encounters. The dream of a rough sea, which is indicative of a turbulent time, or a serene one often has immense bearing on the mind of the artist. Cristina devoted herself to survey the hidden depths of the sea. Her ocean paintings became permeated with the colours of her own psyche and sometimes, the collective thoughts of all humans. This progression is vivid in her ocean paintings.

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, MARINE STORM, mixed media on masonite, 244 x 122 cm. 2018

She clearly explains how the perceptiveness of the sea reflects the depth of our soul. Its persistent flow is parallel to the torrent of thoughts we possess within ourselves. Many poets explain that, like “The Song of the Ocean”, by the famous French author Victor Hugo, this is a fragment,

“O Ocean vast! We heard thy song with wonder,

Whilst waves marked time.

Appear, O Truth! Thou sang with tone of thunder,

And shine sublime!”

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, CERASUOLO, mixed media on masonite, 60 x 45cm. 2018

The Oceanic paintings by Cristina, also inspired Latin American authors, like Ana Maria Valdeavellano Pinot, because ocean images are popular subjects of art. You can find the most primitive examples of oceanic subjects in the Egyptian pottery, Assyrian reliefs, Chinese porcelain and mosaic art such as those in Tunisia. During the 15th century, oceanic themes appeared in European paintings. But none of these are comparable to Contemporary Ocean Art as the artworks by Cristina who analyses the existence of cross-modal associations in our collective unconscious between the oceans and our minds. Because of the complexity of the stimuli of the materic painting she works with which differs from previous curatorial analyses on the association between visual arts and all nature’s stimuli, she mainly analyses textures and colours by means of psychophysical methods.

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, OCEANS IN DANGER, mixed media on masonite, 244 cm. X 61 cm. 2018

OCEANS OF THE MIND is a painting series that creates systematic associations between colour, textures, movements and the mind. Because of the complexity of the ocean’s stimuli, she tries to keep the maximum amount of uniformity possible in her proposal, inspired by the notion of the sublime grandiose and beautiful power of the sea and our minds, like her curator emphasizes.

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, MARINE DAWN, mixed media on masonite, 122 x 244 cm. 2018 

The artwork in this series represents a returning interest in the sea as an important Art subject, a trend recognized by rare authentic international artists like Cristina Gutierrez-Cruz.

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, BLUE CORAL, mixed media on masonite, 60 x 45cm. 2018

Her mixed media proposal is one of those impressive and intimidating art techniques because it is highly complicated. These “mixed media” artworks are more than one form of art media usually used, because the combining media used by Cristina are not so closely or commonly associated.

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, ISLA DEL COCO IN MY MIND, mixed media on canvas, 120 x 60 cm. 2018

There are an infinite number of ways to combine media, and she experienced all these in her OCEANS OF THE MIND series. And the coral reefs became the reefs of our collective unconscious in her art proposal.

Congratulations Cristina!

 Ralph C. Valley


© CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ. These artworks belong to the artist. To publish elsewhere these artworks please ask permission to c.gutierrez.cruz.arte@gmail.com

CRISTINA GUTIÉRREZ-CRUZ, PACIFIC ALGAE, mixed media on masonite, 80 x 80cm. 2018