Tonja Ihlenfeldt

I have been drawing, painting and pursuing bold expressionistic images to touch the hearts of people for over 30 years. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 27 years and I am mother of 7 children. My husband and I grew up in Hudson Iowa, spent 20 yrs in Arizona and in 2007 moved back to Iowa. In 2014, we adopted an 8yr old boy and an 11 year old girl from an orphanage in Nicaragua. We live in Mason City, Iowa.

My current work is mixed media. My process includes editing digital photos, printing them on canvas, and finally painting on the canvas with oils to create an original piece of art.

I use historical photos or take photos of things around me. These images alone may not get a second look or may appear ugly, but, after painting on them, I aim to create something beautiful. Taking something that is ugly or unnoticed and fashioning it into a beautiful piece of art is what I love to do the most.

Shine is my group of artwork with purpose.

I receive photographs from missionaries and adoptive parents all over the world. These photos are a “launching pad” to create a mixed media piece.

As art, each “shine” piece conveys to the viewer a message of hope and love. In addition, purchased “shine” pieces help the missionaries and adoptive parents financially. Currently we partner with people from Nicaragua, China, Laos, and South Korea and Australia. A portion of the proceeds from a purchased painting goes to support adoptive parents and missionary work in the respective country.