Story of An Artist


Tonya Ferrari

As a child, I was drawn to the beauty of the natural world.  There was a sensation of being completely at peace outdoors.  When I am working in my studio, I experience a similar sense of peace as daily stressors and expectations fall away.  I get to indulge in raw joy through creating works with multiple layers of color and sensory-rich texture.  It is a very personal process and I always leave the studio feeling whole.

As an artist, I admire the curiosity, imagination and self-expression children possess.  I marvel as I watch my own kids play.  I listen to their squeals of delight, grand sound effects and deep belly laughter.  They effortlessly transform pebbles into hummingbird eggs, and cardboard boxes into wildlife rescue centers.  It is so authentic and inspiring.

My preferred tool for painting is my fingers.  Relinquishing the brush and feeling the wet paint on my hands sparks the essence of childhood within me.  Many of my works are spontaneous experiments when I begin.  As I’ve refined my process and stretched the boundaries of my materials, my painting style has diversified.   I often change and evolve the piece multiple times, adding layers of complexity composed of acrylic paint, organic and acrylic texture mediums, oil pastels, resins, gilding foils, gemstones and a variety of interesting materials found in nature.  I add the finer precision details with my brushes.    

My passion for nature and fascination with geology can be observed in my work.  It may be an obvious representation, like a giant thriving tree.  It can also be a more obscured interpretation like the pattern of a raw gemstone or the texture of a coral reef but a deep connection to nature is always at the center of my work.



  • Battlefield Addiction – connecting the addict, the family and the community 2017 and 2019
  • Brothers in Healing – Suicide prevention and PTSD support for police officers
  • Festival of Trees – Providence Children’s Center
  • Private event – Childhood Leukemia
  • Chairs for Charity – Homeless Endowment Fund