Inspired by everything around me, my paintings and prints reflect my emotions, my experiences, and my beliefs and the way that I interpret them. The theme in most of my work deal with issues that we as people experience, the way we question ourselves, and the burdens we carry. I love the use of color and being able to recreate the picture the way it is in my mind. I use different mediums to recreate my pictures, such as acrylic and gouache on canvas because the colors are so vibrant. I also like to work with chalk and oil pastels not only for how vibrant they are but because I can use my fingers to mold every detail like the way a sculptor sculpts. While I still love my other mediums, I have recently fallen in love with Linocut printmaking. I am a mixed media artist, spoken word poet, Beekeeper and I was a Chef for 26 years but after years of being misdiagnosed and treated for Arthritis I was properly diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease in 2018. I took a step away from my art while I raise my children, but I love art and like food for the body I need art to feed my soul. Expressing myself through my art helps me deal with my disability by pouring my pain into my work, taking my mind off of my illnesses and the chaos they have created in my life. I believe in showing my children that there are healthy ways to release life’s pain and struggles and deal with mental health issues. I love the process of creating linocut prints and how distinctively raw each print comes out. My mind works backwards so it seems it was a fit for me.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mildred Annani Mercado started painting with an old box of oil pastels that her father was going to throw out when she was 14 years old; she asked if she could have them and couldn’t stop. She is Puerto Rican and was born and raised on the south side of Chicago where she lives with her family. Annani is a mixed media Artist, Beekeeper, spoken word Poet, and was a Chef for 26 years. After 12 years of being misdiagnosed and treated for Arthritis, she was properly diagnosed in 2018 with Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease. As with most women, she promised herself to not lose herself once she started a family, but life happened and eventually, she took a step away from her art for a little more than 10 years while she raised her children. She decided to go back to school and earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During this time, she began backyard beekeeping and began creating again, realizing that like food for the body, she needed art to feed her soul!
Expressing herself through her art helps Annani deal with her disability, this and beekeeping take her mind off of the illnesses and the chaos they have created in her life. She believes in showing her children that there are healthier ways to release pain and deal with mental health issues. She is inspired by everything around her, her art reflects her experiences, emotions, and beliefs; this is how she interprets them. The themes in her artwork deal with the way we question ourselves, and the burdens we carry. She works with acrylics, gouache, oil pastels and has recently fallen in love with Linocut printmaking; with the process and how distinctively raw each print comes out.
© Mildred Annani Mercado