Santana was born in Glasgow Scotland and grew up in Nova Scotia. She now lives in Aptos Calif0rnia and works from her home studio. From early childhood Santana loved nature and making art. Finger painting was a great joy. She loved digging clay from the garden and making coil pots.
One of her ancestors, Lily McDougall (1875- 1958), was an artist, who worked in watercolors and oils. She studied in Antwerp and Paris and was the first woman to be admitted into the Scottish Guild of Painters.
In the summer of 1969 Santana moved to Prince Edward Island, where the path of art began to open up when she met the British/ Canadian artist Hilda Woolnough. Hilda was a graduate of Chelsea School of Art in London. She became Santana's friend and mentor. With Hilda, Santana studied life drawing and painting. She also studied Art History at UPEI. Then she did a Foundation course at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, plus ceramics.
At art school Santana had a job as the slide librarian and saw a lot of art. She loved magic realism and impressionism, the painters Monet, Matisse, Cezanne and especially Henri Rousseau, as well as the sculptor, August Rodin. At present her favorite painter is the mystical painter Nicholas Roerich.
When Santana turned 21 she was given a ticket to London and continued art classes, mainly focusing on ceramics. At Well Walk Pottery Hampstead, she learned to throw pots and at Camden Arts Center she continued with pottery. While in London she visited some of the famous galleries.
In 1996 Santana came to California and continued her art studies in Santa Cruz. She studied mandala painting with Michele Faia and was also in a painting circle with local artists, Majio and Sue Heinz. She also did a class in New Mexico with Majio near the home of Georgia O'Keefe. Santana then studied water color with Marsha Strong Smith.
She studied with local artist Dawn MacLaughlin for about seven years; drawing, water color and Acrylic painting. She is currently a student of local artist Toaa Dallo. Her main focus is painting with Oils on Canvas.
Santana has always loved beauty, especially the beauty of nature, which is a great inspiration for her painting. She loves color especially the colors in tropical, exotic places where nature is rampant and colors are vibrant. She feels the magical, mystical quality of place and expresses this in her paintings. Her paintings evoke a special quality of stillness and serenity.
Santana aspires to make her paintings beautiful, full of color and light. Her goal is to capture a moment in nature and in time, and paint it on the canvas so others feel the energy of the place in the expression of the painting. She loves to paint, the feel of the brush in her hand and the flow of color on to the paper or canvas. Painting is a meditation for her.
Santana lives in a beautiful place with her husband and two cats, with deer running through her garden. She loves to grow things and watch things grow. When she is not painting she is at the beach, hiking, gardening, dancing or reading.
Santana paints Landscapes, Seascapes and Still Lifes, especially flowers. She also does mystical paintings with a vision or concept in mind. Along time ago she realized art is about seeing. The artist sees what others don't see and expresses it in their art, so others begin to see things differently and experience inspiration and joy from the art.