Photographer. Artist. Ocean Protector. Designer.
"Art is how I communicate.
It's how I See the World."
In loving memory of My Husband Mario Espino
Life can throw you some pretty intense curve balls sometimes. I never thought I would be widowed at the age of 34. The feeling you get when you get that life altering call is nothing short of surreal. It feels like a glitch in the matrix, like reality was just hijacked and you jumped into a messed up alternate timeline from hell. You are scared to fall asleep because every time you wakeup you relive your nightmare and shocking images replay in your mind until you settle in to your new reality, alone. I never even got to say goodbye. After 10 months I finally feel like I'm awake. Everyday I remember a little bit more about who I am and who I once was. Its almost like emerging from a comma and seeing photos of you when you where whole and vibrant and fearless and getting to know that person again.
This chapter will be called getting back on the horse. Since I lost Mario I haven't picked up my camera, I felt like I lost a part of me. Mario and I came together because of our love for photography; it was a passion that we shared, part of what made us, us. Losing him felt like losing my right arm, for a while I thought I would just forget it and move on. I've been in sort of a hibernation; laying low, thinking that this is a permanent state, when really what I am learning is that it is just a transition.
I've been transforming in my cocoon and now I am ready to fly. Photography is how I speak, its how I communicate. I find myself struggling to have conversations when I can't show people photographs to explain what I mean. I am ready to tell my story. I am ready to begin again, to reinvent myself and show the world what I am made of.
"May I have the courage, wisdom and vitality to fill me and ready me to face this challenge. May i become confident with the ability to move through these blocks and have the courage to face this conflict. May I master my own emotions and fears to attain my greatest success."
"I want my pieces to tell the stories of beautiful pristine
places that need to be
protected and preserved."
Riana enjoys sharing the beauty of her island home through her art. She hopes to inspire others to fall in love and take action to protect our oceans. She is adamant about protecting our reefs and ecosystems, and her work aims to simultaneously remind us of our beautiful surroundings, and make us think more critically about our own roles in the planet’s destruction.
Her art aims to inspire people to be more conscious about their actions, such as using single-use plastics, reef-toxic sunscreens, and other choices that destroy our beautiful oceans.
Creating art that brings people’s focus to environmental issues is only one part of her artistic vision, though. The other part of her vision is one of tranquility and bliss, respite and grandeur, to pull people into the serenity and vibrancy of the natural world. Her language is in art, and she communicates the gorgeousness of the world around her through every piece.
The dream of each piece is to share beauty with the people around her.
Love and the
Language of Art
"I only paint and photograph the things that I love."
At the core of everything is Riana’s abiding love for what she creates and for those she creates it with and for. Whether it’s capturing the perfect moment of marital bliss at a wedding, making a canvas for a home that will last a lifetime, a functional bag for someone to use on their own travels, or a resin piece to bring the ocean into a space, Riana does it with love and passion.
She loves the comfort and freedom she feels when she sits by the shores edge, or stands on her paddle board with the glowing sunset turning everyone into silhouettes with a vibrant orange and red backdrop.
No matter where she goes, she finds the alluring colors of the ocean and sky to be dazzling and powerful. Her dream is to share that vision, and invoke those feelings for as many people as possible.
"There's nothing more enjoyable than a day spent in the sun."
"We live in such a beautiful world, I want to share that beauty."
Now, as an artist, Riana is drawn to landscapes filled with color and subjects that provoke emotion. Art and photography are her love languages; she shares her view of the world through her artistic expression.
Her medium of choice was watercolor paint because she loved the way it moved on paper. She incorporated resin work into her art when she found resin to be even more untamable, fluid, and versatile than watercolors.
Since she started working with resin a whole new world has opened for her. Combining the two mediums of photography and resin she has allowed her to marry her two passions and blend them in a unique way.
Art is not Riana’s only favorite activity. When she’s not out shooting or in her studio creating, she loves to spend her days in the sun, playing in the ocean or driving out to the West Side to see turtles, dolphins, rays, and other sea creatures.
She is an avid traveler, having been to several international destinations, and finds inspiration on the land as well as in the sea, wherever she goes.