Broken image becomes a breakthrough for St. Augustine artist

Contemporary abstract artist creates pixelated-inspired waterfront art

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Mexican-American artist Alma Ramirez has discovered a new way to express hope and tranquility — all because of an unfortunate accident.

One day in late 2014, Ramirez was walking along the Florida coastline, snapping photos of the surf and sand, contemplating the impending certainty of raising her son as a single mother. Then, with the crash of a wave, Ramirez dropped her camera into the water.

But she discovered that, after downloading waterlogged, pixelated images, though her camera was broken, her hope was not. She found that even a broken image can be beautiful.

“The images inspired me to pick up my paintbrush and use colors to create a story,” explained Ramirez, who earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Instituto de Bellas Artes in Chihuahua, Mexico. “By exploring the concept of my broken images, I was able to notice pure colors, shapes, forms and even emotions. My work became a source of meditation for me — helping me form a new vision and a new perspective for my life.” 

Pink, lilac and orange sailboats gather amidst a sea of pixelated blue hues in “Afternoon Glare.” Pockets of cornflower, goldenrod and teal marsh grass grow out of the rectangular waterway in “Marsh In Blue.” In “Serenity By The Water,” towering masts are the pinnacle of vibrant, multi-colored sailboats resting in the bay. These are just a few of the pieces of art in Ramirez’s vast and growing collection, which range in price from $300 to more than $6,000.

“I believe feelings can be transmitted through color and composition,” the artist said. “There is so much poetry in color alone that I can’t resist but try and combine and arrange tones and shapes in different ways — creating or recreating a story. I’m always astonished at how much I can share with the world through my art, my love for nature — especially the ocean — and my journey seeking peace within the waves.”

Ramirez’s vibrant and modern interpretations of waterfront scenes can be found by appointment only at her gallery at 134 Riberia St., St. Augustine.

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