Posts tagged Texture
Saskia Fleishman

Saskia Fleishman b. 1995 graduated Rhode Island School of Design in 2017 with a BFA in painting. Fleishman is based in Brooklyn, NYC. Recent residencies include Vermont Studio Center, Trestle Art Space, and The Otis Emerging Curator Retreat.

Curious about curating other artists’ work, as well as exhibiting her own, Saskia continues to collaborate with peers around the greater New York area. In addition, Fleishman has exhibited her work in Miami, Providence, Rome, San Juan, and Milwaukee.


This series of paintings is generated through photographs of American landscape taken on recent vacations and images sourced from my family’s collection. These photographs are then composed as geometric abstractions, op-art, or color studies from  ”The Interaction Of Color” by Joseph Albers, in order to deconstruct, reflect upon, and rebuild early memory and perception. I pair flat, smooth, hard-edge paint applications aesthetic with textural materials such as sand, resin, and paper clay, to add unexpected dimension and reflection. The paintings explore nostalgia while contemplating moments in time, perception, and our relationship to memories embedded in landscapes.

Jihyun Ra

Artist Statement

Most of my artwork subjects (and my favorite artwork subjects) are artifacts: tree trunks, rocky mountains, and elephants, all things with rough texture. So I thought I just liked texture, simple. But the more I painted, the more I recognized the meaning of what I wanted to capture in my artwork. I discovered I was painting the Earth. The Earth I think is the most essential material of my nostalgic childhood past, the present, and the future.

When I was young, the earth was my toy and the medium of my creations like dollhouses and pottery. While others saw just rocks and dirt, I saw the wonderful possibilities to explore. The earth had so much texture and endless amounts of color. I get that same childhood delight when I’m getting ready to paint, specifically when I pour and mix colors and put lace on the canvas. It is such a joyful experience even though it may look uninteresting. It gives me that warm feeling that I have added the needed bedrock for my painting.

In the present, it is the world we live in. Life can get hard and can become a real struggle, but from that emerges a kind of harmony. For the past eight years, I’ve made the US my home and have noted the wide range of lifestyles, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. It really is a multicultural country yet there exists a glimpse of harmonious balance. This harmony is not born from taking the easy path. Expressing that through painting of objects assembled with quilt-like patches of patterned fabric is also not easy and requires a lot patience and perseverance.

Stories of Love and Loss: Interview with Nanci Hersh
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The overarching theme of my work is a personal narrative about home and family. Stories of love and loss; both letting go and losing, are interwoven and explored with mixed media. This newest body of work is a return to printmaking as a centering prayer and meditation on process. Lines, fragmented patterns and assorted textures are part of my visual vocabulary to honor the ephemeral and make space for the tangible and intangible to coexist. 

Nanci is a professional mixed media artist, illustrator, educator, arts advocate and administrator as Executive Director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education. 

Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States including “Eons Beyond the Rib,” at Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, “Navigation Puzzle,” at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, “Paper Work”, at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie and “The Demoiselles Revisited” at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, NYC, along with solo exhibitions in PA, NJ, DE, and Hawaii. Nanci has received numerous honors including three purchase awards from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts, Hawaii and three Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grants. Her work is included in the Public Collections of Johnson & Johnson, Herspace Breast Imaging, Leland Portland Cement, and OSI Pharmaceuticals to name a few

With her cousin and author, Ellen McVicker, Nanci illustrated and co-created the children’s book Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer… a hopeful, helpful book for kids. Having sold over 10,000 copies in English and now with a Spanish edition, Nanci and Ellen were invited in 2015 to participate in 798 ICAF, International Children’s Art Festival in Beijing, China in 2016.

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Initially, my work was influenced by the tropical beauty of the landscape, but I began to find my voice as an artist as the work became more personal.
— Nanci Hersh
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In your artist statement, you reflect on the idea that your work is a personal narrative about home and family. Can you tell us about your experience creating work that is so deeply personal?

From my first pale pink padded diary at age 11, complete with lock and key, to my current expressive mixed media paintings, collages and sculptures, my compulsion has been to chronicle, gain understanding and find the magic and connection in the everyday.

In 1985, I moved to Hawaii, far from family and friends on the East Coast. What was to be a six-week vacation led to a 12-year journey of living the dream; making art, surfing, managing an art gallery, studying, teaching and traveling. Initially, my work was influenced by the tropical beauty of the landscape, but I began to find my voice as an artist as the work became more personal. Through subsequent series that both examined and celebrated relationships at home and in my rural plantation neighborhood on the North Shore of Oahu, I began to feel a deep connection to the people, the place, and my work that felt more authentic. It also became cathartic and healing in many ways.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on a new series of monotypes and mixed media prints. This is a return to my undergraduate and graduate work in printmaking. Following the passing this summer of my mother, I am finding comfort in the rituals and process of working with a limited palette, my love of an expressive line and layered textures. Primarily black and white, with limited color, some encaustic and collage, they are a meditation on the transitory nature of life and death and the fine line between the two states of being.


How has your creative process changed throughout your career?

It has evolved more than changed. A new series seems to dictate a particular medium or material that I am either practiced in or need to learn. For example, years ago, I had a dream about butterfly nets. Shortly after, I came upon some children’s butterfly nets at a gift shop at the beach which I purchased and began to manipulate by dipping them in the overly beaten paper pulp that dried like a skin, freezing them in time. This led to creating my own net forms from chicken wire, pulp, encaustic, pantyhose, and collage. Then I began finding and collecting different types of nets and netting which I use as stencils on my paintings and drawings. Often I circle back and incorporate elements of a prior series. The process builds upon itself more than changes.

What is your favorite part about creating mixed media works?

I love discovering found or repurposed objects or materials, seeing beauty in the juxtaposition of the elements and the surprises in how they speak to each other. I have always found peace walking along the beach and appreciate the flotsam and jetsam that wash ashore entangled, each part originating from somewhere else with a different unknown history coming together and shaped by the journey it has taken.

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What do you view as your greatest strength as an artist?

One of my greatest strengths as an artist is my perseverance. I keep making art, through raising my family, teaching, well-being or challenges, sales or not, recognition or not, just keep making it because it is who I am and how I find a deeper connection to nature, to others, to myself and a Higher Power. I also appreciate how I am able to see beauty and possibility in everything- and everyone.

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Along with your two-dimensional mixed media work you create three-dimensional sculptures, how does your studio practice accommodate both mediums?

The work informs each other. It is an ongoing conversation. There are times when what I need to explore is two-dimensional, other times it is three dimensional. This can be determined by a subject, a found object, a dream, a beautiful vine found on my walks with my dogs, or a cast shadow. Most often, there is a piece of one in the other or one is the jumping off point for the other. It is a fluid process that meanders with intention, to see how I can look at something in a new way and see where that takes me.

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What has been the best part of your artistic career thus far?

It has to be now. I am able to look at the scope of the work that I have created and see how the work has been an expression and an extension of my life experiences. I also appreciate how the work has led me to people, to conversations and experiences that deepen our connection and appreciation of the richness of this life.

Clare Celeste Börsch

Clare Celeste Börsch has been assimilating to different cultures and environments her entire life – having lived in Brazil, the US, Italy, Honduras, Argentina and Germany. Rich with texture and detail, each composition pays tribute to her capacity to transform her archive of experiences into hallucinogenic ecosystems of their own. The lush assemblages of fauna and flora exude a visceral and intimate fragility. They speak to the mutable nature of memories as reconstructions that border on mythologies.

Lauren Munns

I am fascinated with growth, evolution, and one’s perception of others, discovering and exploring the traditions and habits that stem from these concepts. The rituals between mothers and daughters through generations and the challenges of interaction with outer human spheres are highlighted in my pieces through traditionally “feminine” colors and textures, often transformed to seem as though they are something else. I manipulate imagery of the female form and its most notable parts like lips, curves, and hair. Detached from the female form, these pieces create new conversations of “where did we derive from”, “what are we”, and “where are we headed?”

Vaguely Familiar: Interview with Painter Dan Huston

Dan Huston is an abstract artist from Ramsey, New Jersey. In 2014, he graduated from Bates College with a degree in Studio Art and Environmental Studies. He studied Japanese art history and traditional ink painting at Kansai Gaidai University in Hirakata, Japan in the fall of 2012. He is based in New York City. 

My paintings combine natural excess with nostalgia. The world is made up of organic shapes and movements on every level, whether it be viewed through a microscope or from the window of a space station. The magnitude of these forms can appear excessive, but unified. I cram these shapes of different colors and textures into my paintings in order to create a bigger, seemingly alive, abstraction. 

In my series Subtle, I merged my physically abstract paintings with the abstract concept of nostalgia by linking the compositions to subtle, but lasting moments in my life. Most of the inspiration for my paintings comes from nature’s forms, but they are always based in my own consciousness.


Tell us about your background in the arts. When did you initially know you wanted to be a painter?
I’ve been drawing since I can remember. I used to obsessively doodle with pencils and pens which eventually turned into charcoal and ink. My doodles were usually abstract and helped a lot with my anxiety growing up.  I didn’t start painting until 2013 though. I took a painting class my junior year of college and instantly fell in love with the colors and textures.


What inspires the color and moving in your abstract works?

The movement in my work is inspired by nature, and specifically microorganisms. I see the movement in my paintings as slow but ubiquitous, like cellular organisms under a microscope. The colors I use are often completely absurd though. Sometimes they’ll be inspired by a nostalgic moment from my life, but usually, they are the color combinations I want to use at the moment.

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How has your work evolved over the years?

When I first started painting, I made large figurative paintings of plants. There were certain abstract qualities to the paintings, but overall they were something real. I shifted into only working in brush and ink for about a year before starting my current abstract paintings in 2016. My work has changed a lot over the past few years, but I’ve always been inspired by the same movements and shapes of nature.


What kind of experiences do you hope to convey to the viewer through your paintings?

I want people to see something organic and vaguely familiar. The same natural forms repeat throughout the universe (including within ourselves!). My paintings help me understand that everything we know is connected on a micro and macro level, and I hope others see that too!

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Tell us about your art community in New York. How do you feel it influences your practice?

The magnitude of creation in New York influences me more than anything else here. At any given time of any day, there are so many different people making different things. There’s almost a tangible energy to it! New York also has a rhythm of commotion that has definitely changed my paintings. They have become more alive since I moved here.

Describe a day at the studio. What kind of things do you think about when creating your work and how do you begin each piece?

My work involves a lot of layering and drying, so I’m often working on a bunch of things at once. My studio itself has always been my (small) bedroom, so I can only fit so many paintings. When I start a painting, I think of a general composition and color scheme, but I never fully stick to my original plan. I always want to keep an element of something unpredictable and impulsive. I look at each brush stroke and palette knife mark as an organism with a mind of its own, and how it would interact with others in its environment. Sometimes they violently clash, and sometimes they form symbiotic relationships.


What are you currently working on and what should we look out for this year?

I’m currently working on a new series called ‘Collection’, which is composed of large paintings inspired by similar organic forms but on a cosmic level. However, I’m always working on smaller studies and paintings no matter what series I’m currently undertaking. I’m always looking for new ways to go bigger with my art, so I’d expect that this year too!

Taylor Cox

Taylor Cox is an artist living and working in Atlanta, Ga. She received her B.F.A in Drawing and Painting from Kennesaw State University in 2013, where she gained experience and insight as a painter of nudes, exhibition coordinator, and full-time critique attendee. Her work has been exhibited across the country, abroad, and at Swan Coach House Gallery, Kibbee Gallery and MOCA-GA in Atlanta, Ga. 

Painting for me involves an incredible amount of building and piecing together. It is an intuitive, spontaneous process, beginning with blazingly bright and optimistic color. Each layer is comprised of visual cues to places in my memories. Thick paint and varying strokes are laid down across the surface, subtracted, and then boldly added again. I am interested in how color and texture can be used to create depth of space and movement, and how I can translate it to the canvas. Combining these elements creates a framework to which I build upon.

Sally West

Sally West is a leading expressionist and still life artist, whose professional artistic career has taken her all over the world, exhibiting, selling to private art collectors and winning prizes. Sally has been the winner of several notable prizes and regular finalist in a great number of prestigious competitions.

Sally draws her inspiration from the seascapes of Sydney and Bluey’s Beach where she is now based, and the rural Australian landscapes of central New South Wales where she grew up. Sally finds joy in creating a direct response to a moment in time and fully immerses herself in the environment by painting in plein air. She takes a fresh approach to the tradition, creating interesting textural surfaces with thick impasto brushstrokes.



"Plastic Flowers" Exhibition by Kellen Chasuk at Stephanie Chefas Projects

This January, Stephanie Chefas Projects welcomes artist Kellen Chasuk with 'Plastic Flowers', a solo exhibition of floral still life paintings. In her latest work, Chasuk underscores traditional subject matter with themes of death, permanence, and isolation, infusing a distinctly humorous edge. Kitsch and still life find rejuvenation through extravagant textures, aggressive palettes, and conspicuous accumulations that speak of the privacy of one's interior. Chasuk’s canvases playfully layer homages to Manet and Matisse with modern objects like a McDonald's soda cup, nail polish, iPhones, and the occasional rolled joint. Flowers in particular hold significant meaning in the artist's work as they represent an attempt to turn something ephemeral, into something permanent. Applying thick layers of flashe vinyl paint to depict each blossom, Chasuk creates literal plastic flowers. The result is a contemporary aesthetic impulse guided by the moment rather than the monumental.

The opening reception for 'Plastic Flowers' will be held at Stephanie Chefas Projects on Friday, January 5th from 7-10pm. Stephanie Chefas Projects is located in Portland, Oregon at 305 SE 3rd Avenue on the second floor of the Urban Row building. The exhibition will be on view through January 27, 2018 and is free and open to the public.

Kellen Chasuk (b. 1995) is currently based in Oakland, CA while pursuing a BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Chasuk creates art that aims to untangle her ever-changing view of the world through representation of everyday thoughts, objects, and textures. Humor is essential to understanding the work - as it is rooted in self-awareness and offers essential room for growth. The subject matter is derived mostly from an accumulation of visual and academic knowledge through television, advertising, fabric patterns, art history, as well as gender and personal relationships. Chasuk calls attention to the subjectiveness of the human experience through manipulating traditional painting, sculpture, and media techniques. The output being, hopefully, a moment of reflection, a laugh, a relatable discomfort, or a newfound comfort.


Stephanie Chefas Projects is the labor of love from its owner, Stephanie Chefas, who has been independently curating art exhibits for nearly a decade in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now calling Portland home, Chefas retains an eye for cutting-edge and often challenging work that demands attention. Highlighting a diverse blend of contemporary artists from around the world, the gallery features monthly exhibitions with an emphasis on cultivating new talent and encouraging risk and evolution among established visionaries. With endeavors like Heatwave and Neon Love , Chefas also maintains her unique ability to coordinate group shows with distinct concepts that allow artists plenty of breathing room to interpret and explore. Stephanie Chefas Projects is the result of both passion and dedication as well as commitment towards sharing the best in contemporary art with enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Holly Zandbergen
As an artist I wish to use paint as a medium to explore the connection between the mark and intention. - Holly Zandbergen

Holly Zandbergen's landscape paintings, whilst reflecting on particular moments in the natural world, are also informed by a sense of the present moment, its changeability and possibility.
Originally from New Zealand, Zandbergen's practice is rooted in figurative traditions. And yet her confident mark-making, through impasto layering of oil paint, reveals the multiple workings of a human response. As unexpected veins of bright hues intermingle with a more organic palette of whites, blues, greens and browns, each mark on the canvas reveals a different momentum in Zandbergen's application. Her record of the physical world around her is a highly personalised vision.

Zandbergen was shortlisted for the New Zealand Art Show Emerging Artist Award, and went on to exhibit at the National Open Art Competition at London's Royal College of Art. There she was selected for the Prudential Best Young Artist Award. In 2016, one of her works was selected for the Columbia Threadneedle Exhibition, and toured to Florence's Palazzo Strozzi.

- Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery

Tara Flores

Tara Flores is an artist and mother of two. After graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2007 she settled down in the Pacific Northwest and finds the artistic culture and creative community incredibly inspiring and supportive. Her focus since graduation has been on brightly colored, large-scale abstract paintings with scientific themes. Her work continues to evolve. She lives and works near Seattle, WA.


When I step back from my sometimes chaotic and intermittent process, ideas about energy and movement- the very essential elements of existence become clear. Over and over again, my work comes down to the movement of energy as emotion, in life, in death, as light, and as information. I imagine inner landscapes of our bodies, our cells, our psyches. I wonder how knowledge moves between membranes and how chemicals help us grieve. It’s this inner space that feels so tiny and mysterious and yet so all-encompassing that I want to explore.

I do this through abstraction because of its immediacy. I believe abstract art in particular, has an ability to move the energy in the viewer in an inexplicable and awe-inspiring way, creating an emotion without having to explain itself. It bypasses logic. You don’t need to figure it out or understand it, you just feel it. You don’t have to get it, it gets you. It’s a beautiful demonstration of the functioning of this Inner Space.

Laura Mosquera

Laura Mosquera received her M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She has presented solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum (CASA) in Salamanca Spain, Feigen Contemporary Gallery New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, moniquemeloche gallery, Savannah College of Art & Design, Bodybuilder & Sportsman Gallery and Hall Street Gallery in Savannah, GA. A permanent installation of paintings has been installed at the Archer Heights Branch Library commissioned through City of Chicago Percent for Art Program, and 8 billboards of her paintings continue to be exhibited at the Red Line Subway station at Chicago Ave. and State Street sponsored by the Museum of Contemporary Art and the CTA's Adopt a Station Project. She was a part of a traveling group exhibition in Montenegro and Serbia concluding at the National Gallery of Belgrade and was most recently part of a group show at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is in the collections of both the Museum of Contemporary Art; The Art Institute of Chicago and the Contemporary Art Museum (CASA) in Salamanca Spain. She was a Professor of Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design and while there was named an International Council of Fine Arts Deans fellow. She has completed residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts; the Hambidge Center in north Georgia and at the Ragdale Foundation. Currently, she is living and working in Brooklyn, NY. 

How and why do we let someone affect our life? There can be a tendency to gravitate towards a commonality, but the need for independence remains. In every relationship there is a protagonist. Whether that protagonist is in the position of authority can shift depending upon perception. 

This body of work began inspired by memories that are part of a larger narrative. The work has focused more sharply on describing power relationships. Some shapes take on visually dominating positions within the composition. Are they affecting the shape they sit or lay against or is the other shape able to absorb it and make it part of a greater whole? 

The canvases are representative of specific situations drawing on my reactions to certain events. I use color and design elements, like pattern and texture, to describe a subtle tension within these mental landscapes. While using the language of abstraction I find a way to make sense of the world around me, and the way I walk through it.

Derick Smith

Born in New York, raised in Ireland, Derick Smith initially began a career in design before moving on to chemical photography which resulted in his first solo exhibition in New York (2006). Later, he began to experiment with sculpture and painting after graduating from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin (2012) and has since exhibited in national and international group exhibitions. He currently lives and works in Munich, Germany.


There are inherent limitations within any material, a defined set of boundaries regarding how it moves and acts and reacts against another material. Working with this physical vocabulary I seek to arrange these phrases in dynamic ways, to investigate a language of possibility by drawing form outwards rather than overlaying.

When successful, a form or image can be distinguished which pulls away from the paint. The chosen colours are used to arouse a sense of otherness, of something not evocative of advertising or branding, which is perhaps where such palettes are more widely employed. Such forms can absorb the attention for a moment before the illusion fades and the awareness of the physicality of the paint as an object draws the viewer back. It is this dialogue, this toggling back and forth between image and object, this momentary suspension or interruption, which is most readily pursued.

In essence it is an exploration into the possibility of ‘Pure Vision’. That is, a sight which in and of itself does not immediately resemble or reference a pre-existing object while is simultaneously not so far abstracted so as to seem unrecognizable.

Sophie Derrick

My work focuses on portraiture, but with the use of painting and photography this genre is skewed and manipulated, and the transformative properties of paint are pushed to the limit. I photograph the act of painting on to my skin and then paint on top of the printed photographs, creating a layering of image of paint and painted image, blurring the boundaries between the two. My ‘self’ is lost, buried beneath the paint and the notion of portraiture is questioned. The body becomes both object and subject within the work.

There is a constant shift between dualities in my work; painting and photography, reality and fiction, and absence and presence. The painting, photographic and layering techniques and vibrant bold colours used within the work become obstacles to reality, distorting and creating absurd and abstracted portraits.