Artist bio

My name is Elise Aleman, I was born in Havana, Cuban, and immigrated to the US at age 7. I spend the last 30+ years working as a graphic designer. But a few years ago after my son left for college, I felt the Lord lead me to renew my dream of entering the Fine Art world and sharing my faith through art. Many difficult years later, in 2021 at age 61, I earned a BFA at SCAD in Savannah, GA where I currently live. Shortly after graduation, I opened an online Christian Gallery–the next step in fulfilling His calling.


Faces of Depression



Artist Statement

This multiple-self-portrait drawing represents the many faces of depression, an homage to my mom and her lifetime struggle with an unseen enemy. The smiling face masks the real emotions underneath, framed by quick multicolored blind contours representing how quickly her moods changed and the many masks she wore.

She suffered from chronic depression for as long as I can remember. This didn’t just happen one day. There was a time when she looked to the ruler of this world, the prince of darkness rather than the giver of life and light to solve her problems. Alzheimer's has taken over now but not before she put her faith in Jesus. One day the enemy will have no more influence over her, but for now, the struggle remains. Underneath, though, there is something I never saw growing up...the inexplicable joy of heaven!

How it fits into contest

Our battles feel real because they are, but there is more to it than meets our earthly eyes. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12.

When we fight these battles “in our flesh” the enemy wins. There is only one way to fight spiritual fights--with prayer and surrender to Jesus.


It is a self-portrait, however, I want to acknowledge my mother, Paula, who inspired the idea. I made this for her.

Other Goods & Services Available from this Artist

I own an online Christian Gallery.
I sell original work and prints by other artists as well as my own work. I am always looking for more artists to represent. See the footer on the website for artist information.
Additionally, I post weekly devotionals on Sundays using artwork from the gallery as inspiration.

Follow on Instagram @exnihilogallery.

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