Raina Colvin


Recently, a friend of a friend (thank you Dan) was introduced to me through the webwaves. I took a look at the work of Raina Colvin through her beautifully designed, totally clean and uncluttered website and found myself immediately ooohing and ahhhing. I thought I would share this talented woman’s gift with all of you, still keeping one foot in the art world, via virtual gallery.

I should let you know I did liberate her biography (heck people…it was already typed!) from her website and the questions came from Red Ravine. (ybonesy and QuoinMonkey are more “Steinbeck” and I tend to lean towards “Bombeck”). Now all I have to do is sit back, enjoy the mesmerizing quality of Raina’s work and delete any spam comments!

Anuvue Studio proudly welcomes the Fine Art of Raina Colvin.


Raina Carman was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Being three months old when her family moved to Southern California, Raina has spent the majority of her life in California. Her interest and skill as an artist was evident from the time she could hold a pencil. As a child Raina found great pleasure in drawing. It was an excellent way for her to learn about the world around her.

At twenty, Raina began her formal education in art at El Camino College. There she found a wonderful community of fellow students and artists eager to develop themselves and their art work. Through this community, Raina found work first as a children’s art instructor. Later she found work as color separator at Morrosstudio making limited edition serigraphs. The process of recreating another artist’s work and analyzing the colors to mix each one for printing was an invaluable experience. After three years, Raina left Morrosstudios to study with several private teachers and to explore her own approach to creating art. This began a time where painting outside in nature was Raina’s passion. The Santa Monica Mountains were a particularly favorite place to roam with her watercolors in her backpack.

In 1993, Raina moved from Redondo Beach to north county San Diego. Establishing her own studio Raina felt it was time to allow her art work to be her own. At this time Raina began to explore her inner landscape, working with mandalas as a template. As her art life developed Raina began a career in the healing arts as a massage therapist and soon began to teach massage at Healing Hands School of Holistic Health. Raina finds great reward and inspiration teaching massage. She feels very blessed to have the ability to paint, draw and express her art freely. Raina is now Raina Carman Colvin and lives with her husband and all their critters in Valley Center, surrounded and shaded by the many oaks that populate their home.

How long have you been painting?

I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember. I started painting in 1982 when I began studying at El Camino College.

1. Transformational Goddess
2. Fluidity
3. Full Breath
4. Radiating Heat
5. Dynamic Balance
6. Oceanids


transformationalgoddess1fluidity1full breath1radiatingheat1dynamicbalance1oceanids

How has your work evolved over time?

Drawing has always been a way from me to observe the world around me. Throughout my adolesence, drawing was the only way I was interested in expressing myself. As I began college my focus was drawing and painting, working from life. I spent a lot of time in the life drawing studio as well as outside painting plien air with watercolors. After I left college I went to work as a color seperator. This really helped move my understanding of color to a greater level. All the work I did was all by hand, separating the images to be printed and mixing each color. When I left my position as color seperator at Morrosstudios I was very prepared to explore my own vision. I began studying under Don Blaisdell’s in Topanga Canyon. With Don I focused on plein air landscape. This was when I finaly understood watercolor on a visceral level and began painting in ernest in the Santa Monica mountians. My next big leap occurred the following year when in took an “Artist Transformation” course with Linda Jacobson through UCLA extension. I had many eye-opening experiences in this class. I discovered a passion for working with mandalas. By painting mandalas I learned to tap into my subconscious, work with my inner conflicts and look at my internal processes. I began to divide my time working from life and with my inner landscapes.

Who are your influences?

My parents were and are strong individualists who taught me to think and act following my own sensibilities. My teachers at El Camino College and those who I sought out helped me with the mechanics of visual art. They guided me expand my bounderies and grow my understanding. Both my teachers and my life experiences have shaped who I am as a person and as an artist.

Oil Paintings
1. Family Nova
2. Malibu Flood 1


What living artist do you admire most?

I don’t really follow many living artists. I can only think of Alex Grey, Helen Nelson-Reed and Laurie Anderson. Most of the artist I admire are now dead.

What drives your art.

Creating art is the most successful way for me to make sense of the world. When idle I’m restless with a need to create. Art brings me peace. I feel satisfaction when I have communicated my intent. Art is what I use to understand myself and find deeper meanings of the connections that bring us together.

1. Old Castle Ranch


What messages are in your art?

I hope to kindle a passion for life, encourage exploration of mysteries, expose how fear shapes our lives and the beauty that is everywhere.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I get inspiration from dreams and life experiences. Sometimes I explore themes like numbers, colors or ideas. Sometimes I just get a bug in my ear to do… whatever.

1. Green Man
2. Dance of life
3. Three Graces
4. Mysteries of Birth


How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an artist?

As a child with dyslexia I found it painful to be anything else. It was an outlet for my passions and the only thing that earned me praise.

Where do the themes in your work come from?

I work from life because I have a passion for it. I love to commune with nature. I also love to see the underlying patterns that connect us all – numbers, symbols and events. I like to observe the similarities in my experiences of nature, human interaction and whatever else is happening in my life. I choose to be captivated by the magic that surrounds me and express it in my work.

To view more of Raina’s work, please visit her website

To purchase, please see her detailed price list for inventory still available.

Our thanks to Raina for allowing Anuvue to exhibit and share her work and inspiration!

16 Responses to “Raina Colvin”

  1. Oh, this is amazing. Heather, we’ve got to make sure QM sees the mandalas. She’ll be so inspired.

    I love the flow and color and energy. The light. The skeletons have a sort of grace to them that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen.

    I was curious about the photo with the large blue star. What will that become. It is so immense, I’m trying to imagine what final form it might take.

    Also, Heather, the questions worked well, although you shoulda thrown in at least one Bombeck one for laughs. 8)

    • Hello ybonesy,

      Thank you for your lovely comments. The large tarp i was painting in the photo you asked about is a cover for a sweat lodge.
      It is an eight sided star or compass that is filled in with a vision of outer space.
      I rarely do commissions, but this was for a friend.

  2. They are amazing yb!

    I love Green Man, , Transformational Goddess and Oceanids best but I love them all! I agree, QM will love the Mandalas!

  3. Hi Heather – ybonesy directed me this way and am I ever glad she did. Such a beautiful body of works by Raina. Of the mandalas I especially liked ‘Full Breath’ for overall design, colour choice and sheer imagination. From Innerscapes ‘The Three Graces’ captures me for it’s whimsy and execution – brilliant.
    I’ve added you to my bloglines & Readomattic feeds. Nice to ‘meet’ you.

  4. Norm!!!
    My warmest WELCOME and I’m entirely glad to meet you too. Raina is indeed very talented and no doubt will love your appreciation of her work.

    I warn you, If you follow this blog, you’re in for a strange October…Halloween is my National Holiday and I don’t treat it lightly
    Moo Hoo Hawwwww

  5. Thanks for the warning but I like strange… Moo Hoo Hawwww.

    I came across a reference to this in a current astronomy magazine so perhaps you could pass the link along to Raina. It’s a fascinating read and image re: the sweat lodge cover.


    I’ll look forward to seeing more of your posts. Ciao for now, N.

    • Hello Norm!

      Heather has set this site up so I can comment directly.
      Thank you very kindly for your words of praise. I enjoyed your link very much. One thing my family did as a family was to watch the night sky, looking for satellites and naming what consteilations we knew. In my painting Full Breath I included a comet, I think it was Hale-Bop that was in the sky at the time I was working on that piece. Watching the animation of the night sky at the end of the article, the way the milky way rotated brought my mind to the goddess Nut. It looked very much like she was rising up and reaching over across the sky. Thank you, Norm!

      • Hello yourself Raina and nice to meet you! So glad you liked the link and that it was pertintent to you and to your past family pastimes. Love your work – the talent, vision and years of acquired knowledge and craft are evident.

        The science behind that project completely baffles my mind but I certainly appreciate benefitting from seeing the starscape spread out like that. Simply awe inspiring. (and that’s just what can be seen from our vantage point!)

        I wish you well and continued success.

  6. Heather – I just noticed Halloween falls on a Saturday this year. Woo-Hoo!!

  7. Yeeeeeeeaaaahhh! 😉

  8. Heather, wonderful artist post! Thank you for posting.

    Raina, your work is fantastic. I could sit and stare at it for hours and pick out new details. The work takes my eye all around each piece, then back to center the way mandalas tend to do. I’ve worked with mandalas for a few years, exploring traditional mandala images, color and light. But have only just begun to paint my own. I’m blown away by your work. It feels connected to the Earth at the heart level.

    I love what you said about art:

    “Creating art is the most successful way for me to make sense of the world. When idle I’m restless with a need to create. Art brings me peace. I feel satisfaction when I have communicated my intent. Art is what I use to understand myself and find deeper meanings of the connections that bring us together.”

    Connections that bring us together. Art changes us, connects us, calms us, sometimes makes visual statements we can’t express otherwise. Just curious. How has working with the mandala archetype changed you? As an artist. As a person.

    BTW, my faves are Transformational Goddess, Green Man, and Mysteries of Birth. I am also fond of the skeleton series. Dance of Life and Three Graces. What medium is Three Graces done in? Is that a wood cut?

  9. […] chatter about this post do yourself a favour and feast your eyes on this post at Heather’s AnuvueStudio blog featuring the work of artist Raina Colvin. On Raina’s site move your cursor over the […]

  10. QuoinMonkey, your comments and questions are very rich. I’ve needed time to think of how best to answer you. I’m afraid I may get a little long winded.

    In 1994 I was in a class at UCLA extension called ‘Artist Transformation” with Linda Jacobson. I had recently moved to San Diego but traveled up to Santa Monica every other weekend for the class. Each month we had a focus, theme or direction for the six months that we meet.
    As you may have guessed, one month the focus was mandalas. I painted four watercolor mandalas in that month. Inspired by the lecture and information we covered thoughout the classes, my intent was to access my subconscious and reveal my inner workings to myself. So, when I began each piece I had some idea or theme to work with, but the process I chose, was to paint whatever I felt I was drawn to do and ignore judgements dictated by “good” design or composition. Ignore judgement was the thing.
    What I found to happen was that often while creating the painting, I was unaware of symbols or messages that were part of the painting. Once the painting was finished I would begin to see what was on my mind at that time. It has a dream quality to it. I’m focused on the image as I paint, then when I’m finished I have a different perspective, I see other things.

    I can give a couple of examples, the first is from the first four mandalas I painted in the “Artist Transformation” class. One of my themes for a mandala was divorce, because that was happening to me at that time. In the center of the piece is a heart (mine) there are four judgmental figures in each corner of the square, each figure hold two long swords which are piercing my heart, by the heads of each figure are a black sphere and a white sphere. Seems pretty straight forward in it’s expression.
    A couple of years later, when the divorce was done, I was throwing out some Tarot card spreads. The eight of swords caught my attention, I picked it up to study it. All the symbolism was the same as in my mandala “Divorce”. In the tarot, the eight of swords represents the:

    “tendency to over analyze situations: doubt: confusion: going over and over two issues, situations, choices, directions, ect.” – Angeles Arrien, The Tarot Handbook. The sorting and tearing apart of two once united lives and hearts. I had to say, “Wow”!

    My next example is “Full Breath”. Again in 1994, my acupuncturist Carolyn Pole needed volunteers to complete her practicum to become a rebirthing facilitator. I eagerly volunteered and did a rebirthing session with her as my guide. Rebirthing is a technique which places you in an altered state where many people rexpirience their birthing process. Having the vision which is the main image of “Full Breath” was my experience. I did a quick sketch once I was back to my conscious self. I did not begin the painting until almost three years later. The rebirthing session took place just as I was beginning massage school, I began the painting after I completed school and was practicing and teaching massage. I worked on “Full Breath” for about a year and a half, finishing in 1998. In 2000 “Full Breath” received first place in the Local Color show at the Escondido Municipal Gallery. It was the first piece that I printed in geclee.

    I gifted a print of “Full Breath” to the Healing Hands School, the school were I studied massage and now teach. In the classroom I have received many revealing comments about the painting. One observation was that the network of roots resemble the network of brachiole of the lung. Many people notice the green on the heart chakra which was intentional, as I wanted my heart chakra to open up. Paula Curtiss, the director of Healing hands and my anatomy teacher, one day told me that she likes to point out my painting during her lectures on the lung, because to shows that to have a deep inspiration the body goes into extension, which is the position the figure in the painting is in. That comment struck me deeply because in my yoga practice, poses like “camel” where the body is in extension affects me profoundly. It brings up a lot of stagnate emotional qi. Not everyone notices the two frogs below the figure in the painting but when they do and ask about any meaning they may have, I say it’s simply was part of my vision. The frogs were singing up through the body, their voices calling to open the heart, pushing from beneath as the hawk pulls from above.

    In the beautiful valley where my family and I live, we neighbor the American Universalist Temple of Divine Wisdom, a Universal Unitarian church. Every year they hold an esoteric conference. Last year they asked if I would lead a workshop on mandalas and display some of my work (funny enough it’s this weekend, so exactly this time last year I was preparing for my workshop). In my research through my books I found a quote about alchemy in “Mandala” by Jose & Miriam Arguelles. Again it struck me deeply. It was ten years since I had completed “Full Breath” and still I had more to discover. This the quote:

    Make a circle out of a man and a woman, out of this a square, out of this a triangle, make a circle and you will have the Philosopher’s Stone.


    Make a circle out of a man and a woman,
    From which a quadrangular body arises with equal sides,
    Derive from it a triangle, which is in contact on all sides with a round sphere:
    Then the stone will have come into existence.
    If such a great thing is not immediately clear in your mind
    Then know, that you will understand everything, if you understand
    the theory of Geometry.”

    Although, the structure is not exactly the same, I feel as though the symbolism I used in “Full Breath” is an echo of alchemic practices. Which can be understood as the practice of understanding self.

    This is a long explanation, but I think it shows well that my images and work are continually unfolding for me. What I take from this as a person is, I try not to judge or force events for they will reveal more with time. Also I try to feel the flow which I am in and move with it, unless of course the flow is unhealthy, in which case I work to influence change.

    Thank you QuoinMonkey for your interest in my work and the opportunity to expound (which I probably over-did). I wish you many happy discoveries in your walk of life. Oh yes, “Three Graces” is a wood cut.

  11. I really enjoy your site… Even the spammers are quite entertaining!

  12. Rich Carman Says:


    Are the the Raina that might be my cousin? My dad was Fred Carman – brother og Justice Neale Carman. If so, I think I saw one of your pictures that struck a real cord with me when I was near San Diego a few years ago. During my time off I visited Fran and Justice (Uncle Jack) and Somme.

    The picture was of a young lady sitting on a bench with her chin in her hand and her elbow on her knee. She was deep in thought.

    That is exactly the way my wife, Fran, looked at the moment I proposed to her.

    Anyway if you are THE Raina – howdy… If not, then howdy anyway. I like your art!!!

    Rich (and Fran) Carman

    • Well, howdy doo Rich & Fran!

      Yes, indeed we are from the same Carman family tree.
      I know very little of my Kansas cousins, it’s nice to hear from you.

      I believe I know the painting you speak of. I painted from a photograph my Dad (Jack) took of my Mom (Fran) in their younger years. My Dad liked the painting so I gave it to him, it hung in their living room where you must have seen it.

      My husband, Brent and I now live in the same house you visited those years ago.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to look at my artwork and letting me know you’re out there. It’s a lovely surprise!

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