I’ve been taking art lessons over many years: Cornish School of Art in Seattle, WA, Minnetonka Center of Art in Minnetonka, MN, Edina School of Art in Edina, MN, New Smyrna Center for Arts, New Smyrna, FL, the Arts Alliance in Fort Myers, FL. Art runs in my blood, as my father was a successful commercial artist who supported six kids and a housewife in a middle-class lifestyle, and my brother was a very talented metal sculptor.
My art reflects my joy in life. I had an idyllic childhood growing up in an island called “Park Point” on Lake Superior. I had a wonderful job as an international flight attendant and in-flight manager for a major airline, a job that left me plenty of time to pursue my artistic interests.

Painting gives me joy and purpose – a way to explore my creative process, observe the visual world and express concepts and feelings. I am interested in the relationship between visual ideas and images, focusing on personal expression and communication of ideas and emotions. Painting provides me with a kind of meditation that is both relaxing and stimulating.

It has been a pleasure to collaborate with my dear friend, Mara Purl. I have been able to visualize and create cover art for several of her books. Illustration has been a new and exciting approach for me to tell her stories from my perspective. I look forward to working together with her again in the future.

I paint images with varied levels of connectivity to realism. I don’t limit myself to a single medium, style or approach. The subject matter of each painting guides the decisions I make. I take inspiration from many sources – the love of travel, the stimulation of music and the beauty of nature.

I want my paintings to have visual impact. In my art-making process, contrast of value and intense color is where I start. I focus on how colors contrast and interact with each other and with the image itself. I explore various mediums: acrylic, watercolor, oil pastel and even digital painting. I trust my intuition. I revisit memories that have personal significance for me. However, the meaning I get from my paintings may well be different from that of the viewer. I want others to interpret my art through their own filters and experiences. Maybe my paintings will bring back memories of their own or lead their minds to a creative place where they can follow their own ideas to new places. Enjoy!

I was born in New York City and grew up in the northeast. I earned a BA in Fine Arts from Bennington College, and an MEd from USF. I have worked in several art fields, from illustration and exhibit design (Smithsonian, Royal Scottish Museum and the Science Museum of Minnesota) to graphic design to art education (22 years in Lee County Schools). I am a Golden Apple and a National Board Certified Teacher, teaching students from age 4-94. I was a founding member of WARM (Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota), the Women’s Network, the Lee County Dance Council, The Bell Tower Artist Co-op and am an active member of the Alliance for the Arts.


  • My journey in bonsai began late in 2008, after receiving a small juniper as a gift. Following this tree’s untimely demise caused by my ignorance, I began looking for classes online and stumbled upon Wigert’s Bonsai in North Fort Myers Florida, and shortly after my first few visits, began working under the tutelage of Erik Wigert. After short period of time, I began assisting him in both traveling workshops, regular classes, and all aspects of the bonsai nursery.
  • 2010 – I was awarded a scholarship in the amount of $1000 by the Bonsai Societies of Florida, by placing first in the states annual styling competition.
  • Using this scholarship, I traveled with my teacher to Mexico for the 2010 FELAB convention where I met and learned from artists such as Mauro Stemberger, Min Lo, Robert Steven, Vlad Novak, and Enrique Castano.
  • 2012 – marked the year I began teaching, starting with several workshops and demonstrations throughout the state of Florida, as well as teaching a monthly help session aimed at providing continuing education for students finishing the beginner and intermediate classes.
  • Over the years I have dedicated myself to primarily shohin, and tropical bonsai design and have been working toward spreading their appeal and understanding.
  • I have displayed at the state level several times as well as having my work accepted to the U.S. National Bonsai show on two occasions.
  • Over the last 5 years I have traveled all over the country giving lectures, demonstrations, and exhibit critique. I have visited clubs in New York, Knoxville, San Antonio, Houston, Austin, and New Orleans as well as many other states and cities.
  • My work has had the honor of appearing in the popular publication Bonsai Focus on numerous occasions.
  • During the Pandemic I expanded my services to include online and zoom presentations and so, have engaged with and taught students all over the world. During this time, I continued traveling and did two, 15 day tours throughout Texas and Louisiana.
  • 2022-2023 marked the launch of our website and education center, kitsunebonsai.com. An online resource for classes, programs, and merchandise.
  • I have recently been invited to Hyderabad, India, to share my teachings, and have new tours booked to New England, and California as well as recurring classes in Austin, Houston, and New Orleans.
Veronica Tierra was born in Medellin, Colombia. Her career as a singer began at age 4, performing with family and other bands in New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, and Atlanta. She received her A.S. in Music at the City University of New York, where she is pursuing a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Business. In addition, she studied theatre in NYC, attended various workshops and conservatories, and has 25+ years of experience in the performing arts. Veronica recently completed a 32-city tour with Disney hosting the Encanto singalong national tour.
She began teaching in 2016 and has worked with students ages 0-12 in different school settings. After attending 19 schools herself before college, she became passionate about influencing education, teaching music and diversity, and being a part of social change. She founded Tierra & Friends in 2017 and has brought music to children in NYC, Miami, Fort Myers, and Naples. Veronica is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.