Original Artwork & Custom Portraits

don't forget to live

Alexis CastilloComment

I saw a man die yesterday. He was hit by a car in front of our apartment. The woman riding on the passenger side would have needed to step over and around him in order to get out of the car, which she did.
The firetrucks came— faster than I expected; and I saw them giving him cpr for what seemed like a really long time. 

I couldn’t stop watching, even though I thought maybe I should. Maybe they needed some privacy, out there in the middle of the road. All the blood had drained from my head and I wanted to know how bad it was, and if somehow, like a tv drama, he would miraculously make it. 

They covered his face. And that doesn’t happen to survivors.


I thought about how many times I had crossed that road with my kids. I wondered what it would be to be this man’s wife, for his family, and how devastating it would be if that had been MY dad, or husband, or loved one. And I wondered if that man knew God.

I thought about the driver. and his life. and his wife and what would happen to them, and to him. 

God, life is fragile. Everything is so delicately interlaced in such a way that we just go— and much of the time whatever happens works for the best. But those few times when it doesn’t work, everything just crashes.

And as with most people, everyone seems to assume we have time. "Time", meaning, more time than this. Today. The here. 


So for today, I am grateful. And I will live, and work, and love and paint and do and dream and make for myself and those on this adventure along side me the fullest and free-est I know how. And I pray, that for all the tomorrows that I may have, I will learn to this better and better and better, for the glory of God, and for the grace that He has given me.
I won't forget to live.

It feels like the beginning.

Alexis CastilloComment

I remember in the very beginning, so-many years ago when I started a blog ( and the the best part was the worst part: nobody knew I was there. Writing diligently.... except my dad. And he would like everything and comment in such a way that it looked like he was just some follower/ fan. I appreciate that, Dad.

But here we are with a new site that feels SO hidden away from the everything else that I sincerely wonder if anybody sees these. Not as diligently, of course; but writing nevertheless. 
But then I think, well hey! Here's my chance. I can be so totally uninhibited with how I write and what I write. And when you, dear reader, finally see this (dad or otherwise) —you can feel oh-so special that this will quite likely be a little tiny something that exists just between me

and you.

Lima story: for you

Alexis CastilloComment

This is for you: you matter.

The smell of Lima and the beginning of summer are with me on my walking through the market, my morning routinely filled with shouts from passing taxis and the deafening roar of far too many buses. THIS is where I buy my canvases. Hand stretched, made to order when  necessary, and brimming with potential. 

I flip through the variegated stack and look into each overwhelmingly white expanse. I can see how its colors might unfold. Is this one blue? Or yellow? No, it’s definitely cool— with pops of hot citrus, and maybe some variegated greens… 

The wind from the Pacific moves my bounty as I dodge bicycles and a few meandering dogs, weaving back home by way of the water. 


With all the potential and weight of open space and anticipation gathered under my arm, I hurry to where the paints wait.


And here’s where it gets good: as much as my mind is stirred to excitement just with the dimensions of the wholly blank, with the beginnings of color the whole work begins to vibrate. and shake. and stir. There is an evolution that takes place not only on the canvas but in me. To the point at which I am so captured in the work, nothing else exists. 

And that is when it’s good. But then I let it go.

If this art that has let me come so alive can be sent out to continue to bring life, to inspire, —to create in its viewers a sense of excitement, of urgency to live and love and be even the smallest bit more whole after it than before— I want that for you. 

Please have this work. 

There is more where it came from, and there is so much life to enjoy.

I made it for you. You matter.

why... paint?

Alexis CastilloComment

Recently I’ve been reminded to focus on my why. Why do I paint? Why does it matter? What sets me apart? (Why should you care?) And that used to be a really difficult question to answer. But if I take a step back, it’s the core of what I do. So putting words to it really isn’t so impossible.

I believe that life is more than a sum of your experiences. Our routines, even our special moments and our precious memories— no.
We are more. There’s complexity in a person; there’s depth.

If I need to convince you that there is value in the richness and the fullness of living, read no further. Art is not so much for you. Please don’t bother visiting the work.

If on the other hand, you have ever felt that lift of your spirit when you saw perfectly arranged flowers— quirky combinations, something surprising, and yet it WORKS; or inhaled more deeply and felt both alive & fully at rest after the perfect meal of something not-too-fancy, but truly fine… then please, settle in.

I paint because there is life here. In the paint. The paint has potential— heady, heavy, exciting... both an honor and a burden,—to translate into a work: ONE PIECE that then continues to live and speak.

And if it doesn’t speak to you, that’s ok. People are so wonderfully not all the same. All I ask is that you give it the chance— that you listen with your eyes & with your mind.. and perhaps you’ll hear a whisper. Come back and visit her, if she whispers to you. the whole story may take some time.

But for those who hear singing? Or shouting! For the love of Glory make that painting yours and take it home with you before it’s gone! Nestle in close and create that connection that IS enriching, & edifying, and gratifying. Go for it. Live richly.
And here’s what sets me apart: I want to make your moments, your memories, your stories—real or imagined. sparkle

It’s not a picture, it’s paint. It’s life and depth & that something that can’t quite be expressed because it’s visual. I want that for you. It’s not a sum of what you’ve done, it’s who you are.

Because your experiences are unique, and to reinforce that identity creatively & tangibly— that’s valuable.