Artist Spotlight: Sea Life Finds Its Way Into Porcelain, Prints and Paintings

Pacifica artist Kristina Ayala is inspired by the fragility and defensiveness of sea creatures.

By Kristina Ayala

Pufferfish Press was started in January 2011 when I returned to making art. My great loves are ceramics, painting and printmaking. The work of Pufferfish Press combines printmaking, ceramics, painting, and illustration, inspired by San Francisco, science, sirens, swimming, and the sea. Many describe it as, “whimsical, Japanesesque ocean art.”

Since I was a child, I have always loved art. I began working in ceramics at Clay Creations in Pacifica in 2000. From there I became more involved in my community and in my own art. I graduated San Francisco State University with a BA in Liberal Studies and in Fine Arts (Painting and Printmaking). I am involved with the Arts through Arts Education as an elementary school teacher, volunteering on the Peninsula Arts Council for San Mateo County, and being involved with Clay Creations Studio and the Printing studio at Fort Mason in San Francisco. I continue to take workshops whenever I can and go to galleries, shows, and museums so that I may find inspiration from other artists.

I am attracted to sea life. The artwork I create is inspired by many years living by the water and many of my pieces show my fascination with fish.
I am not only mesmerized by the appearance of these creatures, but also curious about their workings. Sea creatures, especially, Puffers, squid, and octopus are common motifs for me. Their characteristics of fragility and defensiveness inspire me. I also like the whimsical quality of sea creatures, real or make believe. I grew up swimming and if the choice had been given to me as a child, I would have wished to be a mermaid.

Most recently I took on the challenge of sketching 100 fish. I thought this would be simple as this is a motif I love to work with. Honestly it took longer than I expected and I struggled with continuing. I ended up getting some help from Google images to move faster as my brain wasn't giving me the variety I needed.

Here is the collage of my sketchbook pages. The pages could have been scanned to look better but the challenge was completing the fish and not the presentation. This gives you a glimpse of the good, the bad and the ugly of my quick fish.

Kristina Ayala can be reached at kristina@pufferfishpress.com.

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Cris June 06, 2012 at 07:08 PM
WooWoo! Great highlight, Kristina :) Thank you for sharing your art!! love the rays...


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