by permission of the Montecito Journal
ABOUT OUR COVER ARTIST...
"I took the name Entéra in 1980 after I came to California," explains our vibrant and talented cover artist. "At that time it was a matter of taking charge of my life. I wanted to prove that I could be whoever I wanted to be."
After hearing such mysterious and intriguing comments, it's no surprise to find that Entéra is unique in her approach to art. "I don't like being confined to one medium", she says. "When asked which I prefer, I answer that I enjoy all kinds of subject matter: landscapes, still life, murals, portraits, and I also do illustrations, graphics and caricatures." For emphasis, she points to a floral painting with glowing, luminous colors sitting on the easel and then the sculpted figures in a variety of poses that line the shelves of her studio.
"Another passion is sculpture", she continues. Mostly done from the imagination backed by a thorough knowledge of anatomy, her sculpture is usually an outlet and expresses a deep inner emotion, rather than being illustrative or decorative, she says.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Entéra's artistic life began with tragedy at age three, when her mother became paralyzed with polio. As a result, Entéra spent much of her childhood in solitude. Turning inward, she began an intense visual contemplation of the objects that surrounded her --learning to "feel visually", as she describes it.
At age 12, Entéra won her first full scholarship to the Fine Arts School in Clayton, Missouri, and later she was an honor student at Florissant Valley Community College in St. Louis. Another art scholarship took her to The Lindenwood Colleges in St. Charles, Missouri, where she made the Dean's List every semester on a full-time, bacheolor-of-fine-arts program, and was active in student life and president of several campus organizations. She completed her college tenure at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and then embarked on a European "grand tour" through the International Student Exchange organization, travelling to 13 countries and studying and being very influenced by the classical art she encountered there.
After her return home, Entéra moved to San Diego in 1979 and worked as a freelance artist, doing portraits and other forms of fine art as well as commercial graphics and even a billboard. "I'm quick to take up a creative challenge, and if someone asks "Can you do this?", I always answer in the affirmative. Often it involves a lot of research, study and hard work, but the results have always been extremely worthwhile. My clients are pleased and I've expanded my repertoire and skills as well".
In 1981 Entéra began an intense eight years of study in Los Angeles with Theodore N. Lukits, and she marks this as the real beginning of her classical training. Maestro Lukits (1889-1992), who in 1917 was the youngest person ever to win the coveted Grand Prix de Rome as well as a lifetime of prestigious American and international awards, was a world-renowned academic artist and classicist who was privileged to study with an astonishing array of turn of the century Beaux Art masters, and delighted in passing this knowledge to his students. Entéra describes having to unlearn much of what she acquired in her university training and start all over from the beginning in a classical academic curriculum. She immersed herself in the basic foundations of art, including drawing,perspective, composition, color theory, and anatomy. "With Lukits, I spent the first four years with graphite pencils just perfecting my draftmanship abilities and understanding of light", she recalls. "Then I was allowed to advance to tonal studies in charcoal and then oil, followed by color studies, and the entire process was interspersed with compositional, textural, anatomical, and design concepts as well. Lukits also taught me to think as a sculptor. He was an award-winning sculptor himself, but decided to give it up because he found his investigations into the science of color dynamics to be more fulfilling. "You're really a sculptor", he told me in the beginning of my studies with him, "but I'll teach you to sculpt with light and color", he promised.
"I am most grateful for the wonderful teachers I've studied with, especially Theodore Lukits in Los Angeles, the world famous pastel artist Daniel Greene (who Entéra spent a summer studying with in St. Louis in 1990), and Béla Baçsi, an Italian trained Hungarian sculptor who now works in Santa Barbara.
"I'm currently exploring doing more custom work for clients. I enjoy the inspiration I find in working with others and interpreting what they want. It encourages me to think in different perspectives and stretch my technical skills".
Entéra likes people and enjoys having visitors come to the studio so she can relate the details of her inspiration for each of the pieces they view. Her studio, on a tree-shaded hillside in Montecito, is flooded with good natural light and offers a splendid view of mountains.
While you might expect highly unusual pieces from an artist as engaging and unconventional as Entéra, even her whimsical pieces are very much based on the real world around her, with a great emphasis on detail, reflections, and the human element. She does most of her landscapes on site, often later putting figures in the scenes that reveal some little story that the painting seems to want to reveal. These scenics, usually done in oil or watercolor, are liberally splashed with light and bold shadows. They come alive; you can feel yourself resting under the oak or walking along the sunny hillside overlooking the sea. In portraits, Entéra enhances the subject's character by showing the person with a favorite possession, such as a child playing with a much-loved toy. Paintings of large, vibrant blooms show every nuance of light and color enticing you to reach out and touch the dew on the petals.
Some of her must unusual subjects or themes embrace metals or stone. Paintings of classical sculptures, such as a Greek bust, bring out every detail of marble or bronze, along with the human qualities of the figure itself. You almost expect the statue to move or begin speaking. In still lifes, reflections on highly polished surfaces again bring you into the scene. A signature detail found in many of her still life paintings is an image of Entéra, working at her easel, reflected on a silver vase or teapot.
Entéra's work is included in many national collections, both private and corporate, and is increasingly being sought out by astute collectors. She is an Artist Member of the internationally prestigious California Art Club, as well as a member of the Santa Barbara Sculptor's Guild and Santa Barbara Art Association.
In addition to her fine arts, Entéra's skill as a draftsman and portraitist has demonstrated itself in her amazing ability to draw cartoon portraits in a few minutes, and over the last 25 years she has entertained with her quick sketches at thousands of parties and events throughout the country, including dozens for celebrities such as Geena Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Murphy, Bo Derek, Oprah Winfrey, and many more.
Entéra shows her work at a variety of galleries and art shows in the area, and especially likes selling directly to clients from her studio or now, via this website. For further information on future exhibits or to inquire about artwork, commissions, parties, etc., she can be contacted at: