Sonya Fe's gift as an artist became apparent early in life. One could say that she was born with a paintbrush in each hand and the ability to draw with either hand. The cement floor of her home became her first drawing surface. Each day Sonya created a new drawing in chalk or crayon for her family's amusement and every night her masterpiece would be mopped clean by her mother. Her father took her on outings where she drew what attracted her interests: trees, animals, and people.
At the age of 13, Sonya won her first art scholarship to attend a summer program at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She received her BA degree in art at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She claims that Art Center taught her technique, how to mix colors and how to work as an artist, but it did not teach her how to paint. Instead, Sonya learned to paint simply by experimenting with the paint. She was not concerned with the final product, rather her mission was to learn the tools of the craft and how to convey her thoughts and feelings in each painting.
After becoming an established artist, Sonya published children's stories and a drawing book-You Can Draw Too-for helping students to illustrate their own storybooks. She is the co-founder of Publishing Children's Stories, an intervention program that integrates literacy, art and technology in elementary school education. In 1998, Sonya Fe received the National Artist Award from the California State Senate.
Sonya Fe's art has enjoyed a considerable amount of popularity in Hispanic-American Movement. Fe's work reflects social and cultural issues with themes centering on child abuse/neglect and the woman place in society. Swans and cats are common animals included in her work. Fe admits that "the figures themselves are not anatomically correct-some have little definition. However, the faces are very defined, making the face the center of attention. My main concern is clearly with the relationships among these women's varying physical presence and at the same time bringing into equilibrium the active lines, and the colors that define them."
Lithographs by Sonya Fe
I Told Them Not To Give Me A Doll 28x40
I Don't Want To Be Perfect 29x35
Taking Time Out 36x30
Numerous art magazines have documented Sonya Fe's artwork including Forbe's Sunstorm Magazine, Sacramento Magazine, and Sixteen Sixteen Magazine. Contemporary Chicana/Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture, and Education wrote about Sonya Fe's art:
Looking at the actual canvas, one is struck by the unexpected beauty of the paint application itself. Every part of the surface is luminous-even the browns and the blacks of the shadows. When the artist facets a form in the tradition of Cezanne or Picasso, she is describing not merely planes, but also the effect of light on them. Sometimes her form is volumetric and transparent at the same time-a technical tour de force which any painter is obliged to respect. The images seem to glow with inner radiance. Indeed, the whole picture seems to be a collage of transparent tissues."