Villanueva is a self-taught artist, born and raised in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, Villanueva's propensity towards the arts was apparent by age six. Moving to Ohio at the age of thirteen, she was introduced to the works of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse whose distinctive, abstract techniques would years later become a driving influence in her own artistic expression. Inspired by her return to the islands, she began putting paint to canvas in 1996. She would gain island wide recognition with a debut public showing in November 1996. The artist has a passion for cubism & abstraction and generally works in oils and acrylics. Villanueva's works can be found in private collections around the world.

The artist resides in Kamuela, Hawaii.