Patterns of Life


Patterns of Life is a series of artworks communicating life experiences and human values. It celebrates life by exploring each experience’s significance while glorifying hope, healing, positive change, and more fulfilling choices. 

Visual Language

In the Patterns of Life collection, each artwork tells a story. The black-and-white color tone speaks to the universal duality in our existence – the light and the dark, the good and the evil, the joy and the sorrow. By embracing this contrast, I aim to convey that life is not merely a linear, one-dimensional journey but rather a complex tapestry of emotions and experiences.

When creating each piece, I immerse myself in the process of understanding the patterns that shape our lives. From the intricate details of an abstract shape to the subtle interplay of texture, I seek to unearth the hidden threads that connect us all. Through my art, I hope to spark a dialogue about what it means to be human, to confront our challenges and triumphs, and to ultimately find solace and inspiration in the beauty and meaning we discover along the way.

For me, art is not simply a means of self-expression but a conduit for connection and understanding. It is my belief that by exploring the patterns of life, we can foster empathy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of our shared human experience. With each stroke of the brush or manipulation of form, I seek to bring to light the inherent beauty and significance that exists within us all.

As you explore the Patterns of Life collection, I invite you to contemplate your own journey and the patterns that have shaped your existence. In the simplicity of a curve or the complexity of a textured surface, may you find echoes of your own joys, sorrows, and moments of transformation. Through this visual language, I hope to inspire you to embrace the patterns of your own life, finding meaning, connection, and, ultimately, a deeper sense of self.

Black and White Contrast

The contrast between black and white in my artwork stems from my fascination with duality and the exploration of contrasting elements. Black and white represent opposing forces, light and darkness, and the interplay between them. This contrast allows me to visually communicate the complexities and contradictions that exist within the human experience.

Black evokes mystery, depth, and the unknown. It represents the shadows and hidden aspects of life. White, on the other hand, symbolizes purity, clarity, and illumination. It brings forth the light and highlights the beauty within.

By working predominantly in a monochrome black-and-white color tone, I aim to emphasize the starkness of these opposing forces. I want to capture the tension and harmony between them, showcasing the interconnectedness of light and dark. This choice also allows me to strip away the distractions of color and focus purely on the forms, textures, and patterns that convey the essence of the human experience.

Moreover, black and white carry a timeless and universal quality. They transcend cultural and societal boundaries, speaking to people across different backgrounds and perspectives. This universality enables my artwork to resonate with a wide range of individuals, inviting them to reflect on their own journeys and find personal meaning within the contrasting elements I present.


In the realm of artistic expression, the abstract style stood out most prominently to me. Its ability to ignite curiosity, capture the essence of imagination, provoke interpretation, and evoke deep emotions resonated with my own creative spirit. Through the careful use of lines, I sought to evoke feelings, while shapes and forms became a medium through which I could reflect upon the vast spectrum of emotions, thoughts, and perceptions.

With texture, I reveal the tapestry of experiences, while color tones serve as my brushstrokes that add contrast and reinforce the underlying messages within my designs. The psychology of art elements played an integral role in my creations with enhanced meaning, influencing the emotional responses of those who engaged with my work.

I felt drawn to circles and curved lines, their simplicity yet undeniable allure captivating my artistic senses. The circle, in particular, held a special place in my heart, for it is a line that never ceases, represents “completeness,” and gives a sense of unity and harmony. The curves, in contrast, convey movement and fluidity, capturing the ever-changing nature of life and our constant journey of self-discovery. Together, these elements create a visual language that invites viewers to contemplate their own experiences and perspectives.


The process of translating my artistic vision into tangible form is a delicate combination of research, thoughtful decision-making, and spontaneous, intuitive solutions. As I worked on sketches for each theme, I never truly knew how the result would unfold.

Every artistic endeavor begins with a central symbol, the anchor that encapsulates the essence of the chosen theme. From there, with interpretation and visual design, other elements would seamlessly connect and harmonize to strike that perfect balance within the composition. Every artwork is a unique experience, charting uncharted territory and guiding me toward unexplored frontiers of creativity.

Often, I found myself in moments of stagnation, feeling trapped within the boundaries of my own creative block until a breakthrough, in whatever unexpected form, would present itself. Trying different options and pushing through self-imposed limitations, I eventually stumbled upon a solution that feels intuitively right and beautifully aligned with the underlying concept. The complete interpretation of a piece could emerge at any stage – during development, amidst the creative process, or even after the final strokes had been added. Each time, I left astounded by the enigmatic workings of intuition and how it paved its own mysterious path to bring me to that culminating point of creation. 


Patterns of Life communicates human experiences and how they shape our identities. The choices and decisions we make define our path in life. This painting explores harmony and order, inviting the viewers into a world where intricate patterns merge effortlessly to reveal an underlying unity within the chaos of our existence.

Patterns of Life. Oil on canvas, 24″ x 1.5″ x 24″

Patterns of Life communicates human experiences and how they shape our identities. The choices and decisions we make define our path in life. This painting explores harmony and order, inviting the viewers into a world where intricate patterns merge effortlessly to reveal an underlying unity within the chaos of our existence.


Hope. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 1.5″ x 40″

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perch in the soul – And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all” – Emily Dickinson.

Hope invites us into a world of deep emotions and profound meaning to embark on a journey of self-reflection and empowerment. The artwork inspires us to embrace our vulnerabilities, to find strength amidst the chaos, and to persist on our journey toward dreams yet realized. It is a testament to the human spirit’s remarkable ability to find flickers of light even in the darkest of times.


Nostalgia. Oil on three canvases, 36″ x 1.5″ x 48″

Nostalgia. Oil on three canvases, 36″ x 1.5″ x 48″ (side view)

Nostalgia serves as a visual memento, a gateway to cherished memories and heartwarming moments from the past. Nostalgic experience, in my vision, is not a simple feeling. It is many layers of a human experience through time and space. This extraordinary artwork utilizes symbolism and metaphors to convey a profound message of human nature. I aim to encourage the viewers to indulge in a realm where both imagination and reality intertwine and invite them to explore the hidden depths of their past, fostering a sense of introspection and longing for bygone days.  


Addiction. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 1.5″ x 40″

Addiction is a rich tapestry of symbolism painting, conveying the complexities of temptation, fragility, and the agonizing experience of dependency when an addict stands on the edge between opposing forces, seemingly powerless to make the right choice.


Representation of Life. Sculpting wires, mesh wire sheet, modeling compound, papier-mache, spray paint, 16″ x 16″ x 15″

Representation of Life. Sculpting wires, mesh wire sheet, modeling compound, papier-mache, spray paint, 16″ x 16″ x 15″

Representation of Life. Sculpting wires, mesh wire sheet, modeling compound, papier-mache, spray paint, 16″ x 16″ x 15″

Representation of Life is a unique, non-replicable, and thought-provoking sculpture that explores the complexities and interconnectedness of existence through profound symbolism and organic texture. A careful selection of materials helped me to bring this vision to life. Each element plays a significant role in conveying the multifaceted layers and dimensions found within life itself. Through a meticulous combination of various materials and techniques, I aspired to create a compelling contrast between fragility and resilience that mimics the flow of life’s cycles and balance existing within the complex web of our lives. I invite the viewer to embark on a journey of self-discovery and connection to the fundamental essence of our being and embrace life’s experiences.


Soul Purpose. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″

The concept of the Soul’s Purpose is essentially spiritual and exists to shape meaning in life and its passionate pursuits. Every soul has its unique path that brings a sense of freedom and serenity, even when this question sometimes causes uncertainty and a feeling of being lost. 

Sometimes, we wander through life like a dense forest, searching for something we do not know or know but do not accept. The truth is simple, and it never hides from us, but we hide from it by wrapping ourselves in the practical conclusions of our minds. All that is needed is an open path to freedom, creativity, and serenity.


Homelessness. Oil on canvas, 40″x1.5″x30″

Homelessness is about the strength of not giving up but rising to heal and recreate one’s life.

This painting describes strong emotions: an overwhelming feeling of loss, frustration, depression, rejection, and a sense of not belonging and, at the same time, rising over the chaos, confronting the circumstances, and finding a way out. The choice is up to the individual: to fall to the bottom of survival or rise above the circumstances to rebuild and recreate. I am challenging a new beginning.


Challenges. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″

Challenges capture the essence of overcoming obstacles through a mysterious black-and-white abstract design. Symbolically, the stark contrast between the black and white elements in the painting reflects the concept of yin and yang. It represents the inherent duality in life, where light and darkness, struggle and triumph coexist. It reminds us that challenges are often intertwined with opportunities for growth and transformation.


Shielding of Innocence. Oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″

Innocence is the quality of being morally pure, childlike, and sinless, with no harm to themselves or others. We consciously want to protect and empower that part of us looking to infuse our souls with love, joy, peace, kindness, and goodness. It is a very rare quality in our contemporary world. This painting intends to remind us about the virtue of innocence, a pure part of our souls.   

As we experience life, we become more compromised and corrupted, drowning out the pure intentions of the soul. Its voice goes lower and quieter while the environment dictates a certain behavior. It takes courage to say “no” or be honest, so we place our souls in jail and shoot down the goodness in us. By shielding innocence, we choose to be better humans and have purer souls.


“When greatness is in the making, the genius is palpable! I can feel the synergy between the artist, the idea, and the canvas. There is always latency between the work and appreciation of the genius of said work.” – Dr. Larry Covin, Educator, Systematic Theologian-Religion Scholar

“Your work is truly creative, Irina. I commend you on your ability to link your art to a deeper meaning.”Jim Seitz, Visual Artist

“Your concept and your work are really exciting.” – Mourad Elloumi, International Artist

“Thank you for this wonderful rebirth of human hope; it must be understood that the privations we are currently going through are difficult, but they are initiatory. Your artistic work makes us understand that -art not only seeks sensation but it also seeks the expression of life. Thank you very much, dear Irina.” – Mourad Elloumi, International Artist

“I find this work to be both visually exquisite (her interaction of line, form, texture, and implied space) and possessing an important narrative for our present time. Irina Howard’s artistic skill in creating and presenting such diverse images is outstanding.” –Dr. Jeffrey Hoover, Composer and Interdisciplinary Artist/ Art Educator

“It is a thing of beauty to behold a master of her craft creating! Every detail is given such care and attention. How can one not be drawn in? Art, whether painting or writing, is a gift to the artist first and then to the world. I am a writer, not a painter, yet I feel a kinship with this creative work of art. Thank you for contributing to the beautiful things of this world!” – Dr. Larry Covin, Educator, Systematic Theologian-Religion Scholar

“I am very pleased to let you know that your artwork really stood out to me” – Myrina Tunberg Georgiou, CFA Director

“We are honored to exhibit such unique and incredible talent!” Lori McBride, Las Laguna Art Gallery

“Our noteworthy Curatorial Review Committee was most impressed by your superb oeuvre such as “PATTERNS OF LIFE” which resonates with a profound visual narrative as you reveal the invisible within the visible. The spiritual, artistic journey that you portray in your stellar oeuvre was quite impressive and was a triumph of personal expression. “REPRESENTATION OF LIFE” generated a profound sense of symbolism while reflecting a universal message. We salute you on your aesthetically absorbing oeuvre, which reverberates with a dynamic textural sense and powerful, visceral shapes. We were enthralled by the emotive quality of “HOPE” which reflects your fine talent and vibrant visual intensity of tones. Your compelling “NOSTALGIA” conveys your unique artistic vision of capturing the impalpable as you seize the essence of the emotional and physical experience. Our Committee salutes you on your stellar oeuvre with its important visual narrative and its emotional link to the human and artistic experience. We are so pleased with your marvelous art and the positive energy of your stellar compositions.” – Ruthie Tucker, Executive Director – Curator, Amsterdam Whitney Gallery   

“We believe In the darkest and most difficult periods such as those which we have recently experienced, and for many are still ongoing, art becomes even more vital, and artists like yourself become a shining beacon- offering beauty, hope, inspiration, and possibility… we have had an overwhelming reaction to your works- we all agree that the unique approach to visual art is a vision that not only excels through your subtle reinterpretation of art historical and contemporary cultural references but also creates a fresh new voice within the global art scene. Your works show a serene balance between aesthetic contemplation and poetic narrative-layered, lyrical, euphoric yet pensive energy going far beyond expressionism or a simple art object, drawing or painting” – Katie Brawn, Editor at Visual Voices International 





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