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 schemes speak 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 their tension and harmony and showcase 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, adding contrast and reinforcing the underlying messages within my designs. The psychology of art elements played an integral role in my creations, which have enhanced meaning, influencing the emotional responses of those who engage 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, find strength amidst chaos, and 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 about the human condition. 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 a person with an addiction stands on the edge between opposing forces. The painting invites viewers to contemplate the innate struggle between dependency and enlightenment and to empathize with those caught in the gripping battle against addiction.

It also challenges us to examine our own vulnerabilities, visually representing the charming yet destructive forces that can define our lives. It urges us to question what truly fulfills us in the long run, as we navigate a world filled with alluring bubbles that may burst as quickly as they appear to expose the illusive nature of temptation and the delicate balance between satisfaction and emptiness.


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″

Each soul embarks on a unique journey filled with boundless opportunities for growth, self-discovery, and fulfillment. The truth of our soul’s purpose is often obscured by the complexities of our lives, like the dense forest we sometimes find ourselves wandering through. We may wander, uncertain and lost, searching for elusive answers. But within the simplicity of this illustration lies a profound message – the truth is always present, patiently waiting for us to unravel and nurture. As we realize our own path, pursuing the soul’s purpose will bring forth a sense of freedom, a spark of creativity, and peace within. 


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

Homelessness explores the human condition, embracing themes of isolation, identity, and longing that invite viewers to reflect upon their own perceptions of home and the societal implications of homelessness. The painting provokes conversations around compassion and social responsibility. At the same time, it encourages suffering individuals not to give up but to rise above their circumstances to heal and recreate their lives.  


Challenges. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″

Challenges capture the essence of overcoming obstacles. 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.


Innocence. Oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″

Innocence offers a contemplative and introspective journey, inviting viewers to ponder the interconnectedness of life, the delicate balance of existence, and the enduring beauty and purity found in the innocence of being.

This artwork serves as a poignant reminder of the virtue of innocence, a pristine aspect of our inner selves. Amid the complexities of life, our innocence can become overshadowed, its pure intentions muted by external influences. The painting highlights the courage needed to protect our innocence and preserve the inherent goodness within us, encouraging us to choose a path that honors the purity of our souls.

Passion. Oil on canvas, 30″ x 40″

Passion is a captivating journey that emphasizes the duality of passion and obsession. It invites viewers to reflect upon their own pursuits and recognize the exhilarating inspiration and potential pitfalls accompanying an unwavering commitment to one’s passions.

The absence of color represents a departure from the typical vibrant hues associated with passion, highlighting the raw intensity and emotional depth of pursuing one’s passions. With a black-and-white palette, I emphasize the essence and purity of passion, allowing viewers to focus on the intricate details of a painting and reflect upon their personal experiences and interpretations.


Compassion. Oil on canvas, 40″ x 30″

 Compassion is a quality or virtue critical to our world. It is not just empathy towards the suffering but concern and action of understanding and kindness motivating us to relieve it. At the heart of this artwork lies the symbolic power of spheres and twigs, which come together harmoniously to represent the essence of compassion and symbolize the interconnectedness and fragility of life.

Each twig reminds us that compassion binds us all together, fostering a sense of unity, support, and shared existence. I hope this visual representation of compassion encourages viewers to seek solace and understanding in the natural world, reminding us that compassion is a fundamental part of our shared humanity. 


“Irina Howard’s oeuvre is a testament to the enduring power of painting in a digital age. It is a reminder that innovation does not always mean abandonment of tradition, but can be the transformation of the familiar into something unexpectedly profound. Her placement within the landscape of contemporary art is both as a guardian of classical techniques and as a pioneer of new forms, proving that the canvas is still a vibrant and evolving stage for human expression.”Marta Puig, Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

“The value you bring to the world throughout work is incontestable, as noted by our jurors,… reviewing such impressive talent. It is truly an honor for us to receive work of such high caliber.” – The Hopper Foundation Prize Team

“Irina Howard has taken us on a journey into her magical world, and we can all individually take from the paintings what we want… Her work is highly stylized, deeply spiritual, and full of inventiveness. Her paintings are an exploration of the soul, heartfelt ideas into the world of desires, dreams, and the unconscious.” – Anthony Fawcett, Art Critic and Art Historian

Your art has not only graced the pages of ArtTour International Magazine but has also left an indelible mark on our readers and the wider art community. We are thrilled to inform you that the media is abuzz with talks about the ‘Artists to Watch’ list, and your work is at the heart of this conversation. It’s a testament to your talent and the profound impact of your art. – Viviana Puello, ArtTour International Magazine

“Your unique vision and exceptional skills have not only captivated audiences worldwide but have also significantly contributed to the enrichment of the Art World.” – Daniella Abrams, Contemporary Art Collectors   

“As we are familiar with your art and have been captivated by the depth and innovation of your artistic work, we believe your creative vision is poised to leave a significant mark on the contemporary art scene in the upcoming 2024!” – Veronica Weinberg, Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

“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 

“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 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   






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