I was born in Colombia, in a small town named Manizales. I grew up there and after I finished my university studies, I moved for work to Bogota, which is the capital of Colombia and a really big city. This was a significant transition for me, I was far away from home and I had to learn to live independently.

After several years in Bogota, I made an even bigger move to the United States to the Bay Area in California. Despite the challenges of moving to a new country, I adapted relatively easily due to my prior experience of living on my own; besides, I was very excited to move and have a fresh start.

When I moved to US I didn’t know any English. I came with a student visa and enrolled in an English Institute. I was living with my boyfriend from Colombia who was here on a work visa; later that year we got married in Mountain View, far away from our home and family.


I think in the beginning, I didn’t feel so much as a foreigner because at the English Institute where I was studying, everyone was from everywhere, and the thing we had in common was the necessity to learn English. If everyone around me would have been local, I would have probably felt like an outsider, but that was not the case.


In 2001, my husband's job took us to Miami, where we met a wonderful group of people from various Latin American countries. Being around people who shared my cultural background helped me feel more connected to my roots from Colombia. After four years in Miami, we returned to California, where our two children were born.

I returned to work for a couple of years. Though, I eventually made the decision to quit my job so that I could spend more time with my children during their early years.

Nine years later, we settled in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and it has been our home ever since.

Despite having US citizenship, I still feel more connected to my Colombian roots and do not consider myself fully American. However, my children who were born and raised in the US consider this country their home. They do love visiting Colombia and spending time with our families there, but they also appreciate the opportunities and experiences that come with being American.


When I visit Colombia, I do not feel as if I belong there anymore either. It seems that I do not belong entirely anywhere and instead, I feel like I belong a little bit everywhere, in every place I have lived. I find that I feel the most at home in my own house.


We used to go back to Colombia to visit every two years in the beginning, but then with the pandemic we didn’t go for four years. It saddens me to see that my children have not had the opportunity to spend time with their grandparents and other extended family members in Colombia. Especially my younger one is telling me he wished he had family closer. It is tough to see that they did not grow up with their extended family around them.

I remember that since I was a kid, I liked to draw with colors. Then, maybe when I was in fourth grade, I participated in a drawing contest at school and I won.

During that time, I did not take any formal drawing or painting classes. Later, when I attended university, I decided to study industrial design. That was my only formal exposure to drawing and painting.

It is interesting to note that my dad also had a passion for drawing during his younger years, and he was quite talented. However, he never pursued it seriously. When he was dating my mom in 1963, he gifted her a book with his drawings. After he retired, he took up oil painting classes and painted for a few years before he passed away.

One of the drawings of Eugenia’s dad

During one of our visits to Colombia, my dad gifted me a painting kit and encouraged me to give painting a try. The kit contained a set of watercolors, pastels, and brushes. I brought the kit back to the United States with me, but I didn't do anything with it for a few years. It was only in 2014 that I decided to pursue my interest in painting and enrolled in classes.

Left - painting by Eugenia’s father; Right – painting by Eugenia

I dedicated myself to practicing regularly, watching YouTube tutorials, and experimenting with different mediums. Through this process, I discovered that my favorite medium is watercolor.

Water color painting by Eugenia

As an industrial designer, I have a deep appreciation for art history, with a particular fascination for chair design. To combine my two passions, I merged watercolor painting with chair design to create my personal collection of "Watercolors of Famous Chairs & Industrial Design Icons”. Each of the chairs I have painted is a work of art in and of itself, designed by renowned designers and architects.

Eugenia’s personal collection of "Watercolors of Famous Chairs & Industrial Design Icons”

I have three Etsy shops. In 2020 during the pandemic, this is what kept me sane. I was working all day in my studio; it was like a full-time job. I never was bored and I loved it.

More about Eugenia’s art work: