Jill-of-all-trades Eva Montealegre shows her work in Santa Monica

Eva Montealegre’s “It’s Alright,” a painting of the sun

Eva Montealegre’s “It’s Alright,” a painting of the sun

By Kathy Leonardo

Artist. Musician. Dancer. Crime novelist. Eva Montealegre is a modern-day renaissance woman, but it’s painting that really fires up her creativity.

“Painting keeps me alive. When I paint I am renewed and lifted,” she says.

“The Cosmic Experience,” a collection of Montealegre’s paintings from various exhibitions, goes on display Sunday at The Upper West restaurant in Santa Monica.

One of them, titled “It’s Alright,’ is a painting of the sun that won first place in the opened theme exhibit for the California Women’s Caucus of Art.

“That painting just flew out of me,” says Montealegre. “I can’t even tell you why. It had a life of its own.”

“The Cosmic Experience” opens with a reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 26, at The Upper West, 3321 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Call (310) 586-1111 to reach the restaurant or visit evamontealegre.com to learn more about the artist.