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About Traditional Art / Professional Official Beta Tester MoiraFemale/United States Group :iconcognitive-evolution: Cognitive-Evolution
Shed Commonality, Expand Reality
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Lisbon 02 by JACAC

This is such a dreamy image. The contrast between the solid stone beneath the two main subjects and the bliss of the atmosphere makes m...

Lisbon 16 by JACAC

There's something incredibly moving about this image. It's lighthearted and heavy at the same time -- the tourists are notably exhauste...

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24"x24" acrylics on canvas.
Portrait of Jimmy Cliff.

Why is the title in capital letters?:

Content (for people who like stories more than academic jargon and existential crises):
What can I say?  After nearly a year of physical therapy and all kinds of issues related to an imbalance of mind and body (and probably spirit), I am a little rusty at painting. I never really aim for the level of detail that a hyperrealist might require, nor do I ever intend to ever start on that path. (go figuuuure …..)

The process for this piece is rather intriguing to look back on, though!  It’s a collaboration between selves, it seems…..

150928035036 by Mivala

This started as a live-painting at Jefferson People’s House (which is closed now, much to my dismay!); it was actually my first live-painting “gig”, Summer 2014, “booked” by my then virtual (now quite real!) friend, Daniel, for the purposes of chilling with super-amazing musician Corey McCauley.  It’s interesting to think that Corey will be one of the main performers of our next Goody Night episode (a show that was started by Daniel)... but what’s even stranger to consider is what life was like before Goody Night! HA! I can’t imagine!  And it’s wonderful, from the standpoint that I’m a fairly imaginative person … but just as I couldn’t conjure ever feeling so much joy and love all in one year, I now can’t imagine my life thus far without it!

Pause for an Almost Overly-Sentimental Side Note:
On that note, both Daniel and my good friend and now co-host for Goody Night, Jeffrey, are much better than me at articulating their appreciation for our team, especially when it comes to putting it to words.  My aversion towards a.) repeating myself and b.) social media “proclamations” tends to get in the way of verbally expressing how much I appreciate them sometimes … but I think they’re fully aware of my sentiments. My life would be something else without them -- they consistently reaffirm my will to not only exist, but to exist wholly ….. … .. …. …. …. … … … and this, I’m confident I could put into words; I just believe it’s for another time. :)

Continued process:
I don’t like talking about ritual so much, but since “all-that-jazz-with-my-arm-not-working” this year, I’ve had to adopt some changes in my process.  Painting still hurts! But I manage much better.  

I’ve added pilates/yoga, meditation/prayer/reflection, and spontaneous dance breaks to my creative regimen … the first item is somewhat prescribed as a result of therapy, but it gets my body prepared for art (which can be a battle with how I’m designed). The second item ensures that what results from the work done is what’s meant to result … it establishes a core purpose, a pace…. reflection on the present and people and so so sosooossoooo many things.  The purpose of the third item is basically the happy medium between the first two … a true break!  

What do I do as an artist? Or as an artist reborn?  
More than anything, I nap a lot.  
The “creation of things” is just a byproduct of a much grander process.  

Content: If I chose to write about everything that’s actually happened this year … we’d probably reach all-out autobiographical levels of disclosure.  (Let’s save it for conversation!)

Hidden content (a journey through my ~~~~feelings~~~~):
As always, I draw my final, “ex post facto” inspiration and analysis from the themes and patterns that recur in my life throughout the course of creating a piece.  By now, it feels like there’s nothing special about that …. but I think, perhaps, that the specialty exists in the fact that it’s become an inherent part of my process.  I can’t separate my experience from becoming the value in what I do, even if the experience itself isn’t relentlessly visible in the final product.  

My work doesn’t scream “THIS IS THE LIFE OF MOIRA!”  Not unless you know me -- unless you know how to say my name, you’ve witnessed multiple factions of my “self” come alive or falter, or you’ve shared with me many moments in the present.  Perhaps, at this point, we’ve spoken intimately about my color philosophy or my preoccupations with representation … my comfortable disinclination towards subjectivity and my rebellion against nonsensical definitions of “Truth”, “Freedom”, “Vulnerability”, “Peace”, “Unity”, blahblahblah, etc….  you’ve heard my rants regarding neoliberalism and know more than one of my moral shortcomings, haha

I suppose what I mean to address in saying all of that is this: art provides so many opportunities to interact and engage with other people! It’s this wondrous starting point for dialectical relations (in layman's terms -- it strengthens something!).

Distance between our joys and our sorrows:
In browsing the journals I’ve kept this last year, I noticed I wrote most often about what I call “the distance between my joy and my sorrow”.  I’ve probably even mentioned in other artwork descriptions, I’m sure.  But at this point, I’ve never been so certain of my experience in dealing with this spatial/temporal/spiritual/all-asdfghjkl;-encompassing concept. The more I actually tread upon this distance, the more I realize it’s not quite a linear path; however, I wouldn’t be wise enough to define the exact shape (I only have some idea).

Anyway, this concept of distance keeps entering my mind whenever I reflect. The distance between joy and sorrow is the state of being immersed in both divine goodness and what one might call deep-rooted tragedy.  It’s perceiving these environments simultaneously.  
I could write for days….
I could digress for days….
And the more I realize it, the less inclined I feel to write.

But there’s something both eerie and comforting in reflecting on these words, as well as the words of people before me who have described similar phenomena (KAHLIL GIBRAN!! LAURYN HILL!! MAYA ANGELOU!!! TUPAC!! J. COLE … AND all the artists I’ve gotten to interview for Goody Night!! aghhh).  (aaaand yes, I have a hip-hop bias …  note that musicians are also artists who are essentially “heard” in the literal sense of the word, so it’s no surprise that their experiences/stories are more accessible to audiences)

As a result, my academic work has turned into a mess of philosophical insights.  I’ve used my coursework and “chapter reviews” as outlets for nagging, developing ideas that I can’t quite keep up with as an artist.

Excerpt from a class reflection I wrote regarding Grief and Artists:
...yes, artists fall under a unique category of person, but it has very little to do with the fact that they make “stuff”.
I’ve realized that true artists seem to be people who channel grief through meditative trances -- for many, these trances take place in painting or writing, composing, etc., but they’re really not limited to physical mediums. The experience of creating entails a deep channeling of the past through reflection, as well as a drive to be temporally transported to a place in the future … and in the midst of these two powerful forces, we find ourselves completely devoid of any notion of time.  We become immersed in the present (just as with grief).  
Fourteen hours feels like forty-five minutes.
We come out of the trance and, suddenly, there’s something on the canvas -- our brushstrokes reveal the places we mentally traveled (for instance, in hindsight, colors in my work tend to remind me of conversations/experiences I reflected on during the process).  Artists are people who have developed hypersensitivity/awareness to the conditions of life in its moment to moment form -- i.e. if the present moment is stagnant, we feel its weight in all its entirety.  In creating things, I would contend that artists channel all stages of grief and are able to explore them to their fullest capacity… regardless of whether or not it results in a completed masterpiece.

Excerpt of poetry I wrote on the back of this canvas:
When I say goodbye,
I sense not that everything is lost.
Within myself I find
Both the joys & the sorrows --
the convictions & the doubt --
of all before me & all who've yet to be.
When I say goodbye, I believe not
that everything is lost.

Closing statements:

While I didn’t write of concrete uncertainties … I just didn’t feel inclined to do so. Thank you for reading if you happened to read this far!

Here’s some inspirational goodies in case you’re looking for more….

If I could see anyone in concert:
On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross.

Appreciation beyond words, love love love love, etc.
36 deviations
I Get Out by Mivala
I Get Out

"I Get Out"
Portrait of Lauryn Hill (roughly 72"x72")
Sidewalk chalk mural for Chalk.a.Lot.

I'm still trying to figure out the next steps I can take as an artist still recovering from arm issues. The artwork I'm exploring now is less portrait-oriented and more reflective of my earlier, surreal style. There's interesting things happening all over in my life right now and I feel inspired and creative ......
That's all I'll say for now! I've no doubt that future bodies of work (however I figure out how to makes them) will be more obviously reflective of my circumstances and what I'd like to communicate ....

The process for this piece was fun! It's been awhile since I've had the opportunity to create something while the public is engaged, and this was my first chalk festival ever. :) There were dozens of people at a time stopping and taking pictures, it's wild to think how much exposure just one image or event can bring now that social media exists. Not that this matters so much in the context of the process .... it's just hard to fathom sometimes. This took about 7 hours ... I drew parts of it with my feet (that technique definitely drew a lot of attention) and parts with my hands ... I was coated in chalk ... the sun was intense ... life is good.

More updates soon!

The Self by Mivala
The Self
"The Self"
18"x24" mixed media pastels (colored pencil, charcoal, acrylics, etc.), left hand.

Maybe I'm exhausted from speaking my mind ... a little more than usual.  
An update from the other day regarding my physical struggle:
"hypermobile joints = why healing feels like an impossible task. The years of working with tools and paintbrushes, pencils, etc. catered to my tendency to rest my joints outside where they naturally should be. So now I have to work on not only getting ..... a million times stronger (exaggeration, maybe ... but think in terms of a normal-person-to-Olympic-athlete learning curve, haha), but also at changing the way I actually move and utilize the world around me before I can think to paint again. Kind of interesting. Also kind of a relief to find that this was going to happen eventually and that the crazy painting task I took on back in November wasn't 100% to blame. I'm predisposed!!"

And as far as the metaphorical ... the mental ... emotional ... the "real" struggle of living that's ironically less tangible than that which plagues the body .....
Maybe I'm exhausted from speaking my mind ... a little more than usual (with no paint involved, haha).  I started this piece a few weeks ago in some state of anxiety.  I'd say that's part of being an artist, but I'm realizing more and more lately that the strongest, most vulnerable feelings are much more universal than we like to admit.  Of course, we might cope different, but I don't know that we learn all that much from situations when we try to claim feelings as uniquely our own.  As a result, I've been very cautious about doing that. Ahhhggg, the "self" ... it's an interesting thing.  So many people could benefit from realizing the pieces that constitute themselves ... as well as the balance of parts and the relationship between pieces of self and the world they exist in. (a question I came across in reading: are we a part of a greater whole or is the whole a part of/within us?)  

I've spent time watching Lauryn Hill's MTV concert ... it's a little more than a few years old but still so relevant ... she and Kahlil Gibran are two people whose messages resonate so deeeeeeeply....

Interlude 3:
Interlude 5:

The discussion of self has a tendency to segue into a discussion of reality and "freedom" when I think about it.... and those have been other themes/patterns/blahblah as of late. And the subsequent thought pattern dances around concepts like "unity" ... and how much freedom is in unification ... unification as we know it ... and I feel like we've been misled, to some extent.  We're so fearful of diversification ... difference... but in reality, when we unite, it's always against something else or guided by something more institutional.  As a result, we become collectively vulnerable -- and it's the type of vulnerability which serves little to no purpose except to instigate harm.. a sort of artificial harm ... .  
In a sense, we let the wrong people and institutions dictate what we perceive as a "significant" difference.  We forget the part of our "self" that is free.  

(side note: I just paused to rest my hands and opened to a page in a book on Taoism that I had never read... it was sitting on a shelf next to me... the page I turned to was in reference to choice and self. Definitely not rocket science...! ;P  But it's information that we so easily get conditioned to forget.)

THAT BEING SAID, I've discovered a passion for Macroeconomics (of all things) this past few months.  We can read and discuss all the philosophy we want .... but in not understanding the structure of the world and the systems in place, we just end up spinning in circles. Explorations of possibility are ineffective if they're never applied, in some way, to reality.  

And back to Tupac:
I didn't know Tupac Shakur.  I have moral qualms every time I create a piece of work that depicts somebody I never knew or never came in contact with.  (When is a portrait just a picture of a face ....? how do we avoid idolization?)   However, the content of his messages was inspiring and fall in line with the Lauryn Hill's, the Kahlil Gibran's, ... the people of the world.  On top of being able to communicate his philosophy, he actively applied it with his understanding of institutions and systems. He was a developing and momentary attestation to possibility ... to alternatives and to freedom.

I wrote a lot during my first Tupac phase, if you're interested in reading more:
And Their Hearts by Mivala 

Distance ... forever a theme in my work .... 

I felt like scribbling.   



Journal Entry: Thu Jun 11, 2015, 10:35 AM
Hey hey, virtual friends and followers who remain!

I can't really type all that much anymore. It's been about 7 months of difficulty with my right thumb, arm, wrist .... now shoulders .... painting doesn't seem to be in my future, but it's been long enough now that I've come to terms with that. It's painful to I'm discovering new ways to be creative, though.

This might be my last update for awhile.  I do have left hand pastels to share soon, but my lengthy descriptions might be a little limited.

soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many comments....
I want to respond but I physically can't .... but I so appreciate your responses as well as the sense of normalcy/familiarity they provide, haha

In the mountains of things I want to say, that's all I can for now.

Ciao for now! <3

  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: Lauryn Hill - MTV Unplugged


Colored Pastel Drawing
So Long As There's Distance by Mivala
A Poet's Voice by Mivala
Digital copy only -- additional costs for shipping if you desire an original copy (send me a note).
Black & White Portrait Drawing
Sweet Mackie by Mivala
Weaver by Mivala
Contemplative by Mivala
I can draw just about anything with a face. Portraits are done in pencil/graphite and are usually completed within a week of point payment. Remember to be specific about what you want so we're on the same page!:) Reference photos required!
And finally, you will be receiving a digital copy, not the original (unless specified -- then other charges may apply). Note me with anymore questions!


Mivala's Profile Picture
Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
(Last Updated: February 2nd, 2013)

I suffer the joys of being trapped in a constant state of wonder. I'm always trying new mediums and evolving my philosophy on life; create, learn, repeat. I love that which I don't understand -- be it language and music, thoughts, ideas, math & science, etc.... foreign cultures fascinate me. As do sharks (for whatever reason).

I adore the DA community and the conversations that I get to have around here. I'm overly-zealous and hideously sentimental, etc. etc.

My art is what it wants to be. I consider myself a surrealist/psychedelic artist at heart, but I dabble in a little of everything. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about my creative services or life itself~!

Journal History


Journal Entry: Thu Jun 11, 2015, 10:35 AM
Hey hey, virtual friends and followers who remain!

I can't really type all that much anymore. It's been about 7 months of difficulty with my right thumb, arm, wrist .... now shoulders .... painting doesn't seem to be in my future, but it's been long enough now that I've come to terms with that. It's painful to I'm discovering new ways to be creative, though.

This might be my last update for awhile.  I do have left hand pastels to share soon, but my lengthy descriptions might be a little limited.

soooooooooooooooooooooooooo many comments....
I want to respond but I physically can't .... but I so appreciate your responses as well as the sense of normalcy/familiarity they provide, haha

In the mountains of things I want to say, that's all I can for now.

Ciao for now! <3

  • Mood: Pain
  • Listening to: Lauryn Hill - MTV Unplugged


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Add a Comment:
curtis-macdonald Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice work.
SimoneFiani Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Fantastic gallery!
Your works are good! I'll be watching you!
ZiaulKareem Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Happy Birthday Moira!!!
Iskaeldt Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015
Happy Birthday!
Boias Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015   General Artist
Antigone87 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
SteveChapman Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2015
Absolutely wonderful, inspiring! :hug:
maxlake2 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 15, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
M -
Thanks so much for the :+devwatch:.  I'm very flattered, because aside from being incredibly talented artists I've encountered on dA, I think that you're one of the more cerebral, and intellectually curious people I've happened across as well. . .  I look forward to delving more deeply into your existing Gallery, and seeing new work from you.
Take care of that wrist and elbow. :)
WilliamDallwitz Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2014  Student General Artist
Now, I have to find a way to keep myself on dA at least once a week! :lol: It was another one of my bleak periods, you understand, and I had trouble doing even the most basic things, let alone *gasp* go outside/online and actually talk! With real human beings!

In any case, little does that all matter now! I'm here for a different reason: to

Wish you a most merry Christmas, Moira!! :D:D:D:hug: May all happiness, health and creativity follow you and those around you in the coming year! :)
Mivala Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
HAahahaha it is a challenge!  Oh my goodness.... there's so much love to be found in reality ... I've been caught in the most positively inspiring whirlwind of activity, haha On occasion I think back to our online conversations and think how much you would absolutely love some of the talks I've had with people this past few months... we contemplate the patterns of the universe.... oh you would so love one of my newest friends .... she's from Mexico, we have the most parallel of experiences and thoughts, we have been able to construct a language of our own that's extremely telepathic, haha We coined a term, "thread people", which gets a big reaction from everyone we talk to about it ... I would consider you as a thread person, even if we've never met .... they're people we're meant to connect with, despite distance or language differences (actually, nearly all of my thread people are not American).... our bet is that this connection is boundless, time scarcely (if at all) hinders it.  ..... ...
And so, with this concept, I've been so sos os sosososos sos o sos so freeeee and inspired.  And I've been talking with so many people.  I have a close friend, he's a thread person from Nigeria, who has very much been a catalyst for my meeting of these people, and we've been learning so much together!!  I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this experience has been.  

......oiiiiiii shhhhhh Moira, haha ............................... I've literally spent hours without break talking about this with people!!!!!!  15 hours straight on Tuesday, actually, from noon to 3AM in 5 different settings with strangers and people I love (so many hugs!!).... lol so surreal

THANK YOU! :heart:
:hug: :hug: :hug: :hug: :hug:
THANKYOUTHANKYOUMERRYCHRISTMAS And may this new year be incredible for you!!!!!!!!!! You have taught me to so much and I'm so grateful for all the opportunities you've taken to share your creativity and ideas with me, it has been the greatest honor !!!  

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