Sunyata Marlene Cresci returned to oil painting in 1998, after a 40-year moment of distraction and a career in psychology and medical education. She had found Big Sur in the 1980s, and began landscape painting en plein air with Ronna Rio, a quintessential Big Sur artist and art teacher.
Sunyata’s paintings have appeared in exhibitions at the Henry Miller Library, Esalen Institute, and the Pacific Grove Art Center. She lives with her husband In Carmel where they enjoy watching clouds together.
Painting is breathing for me, color is oxygen. In the same way that I can’t hold my breath, I can’t keep from painting.
Big Sur is a stretch and a push; it’s bigness inspires me and my palette. There is a paradox between constant motion and deep stillness that captures me. The collision of earth, sea, sky and wind opens my eyes anew each time I paint.
Life here is a counterpoint to the modern world. On my first drive down Highway One, I felt a deep impulse to lie on a ridge and merge with everything I saw, uniting with my own native stillness. I wish for those who enjoy my paintings to have a similar experience of their own true nature.