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Sheryl Daane Chesnut earned a Bachelor of Fine Art from UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara. After college she worked as a graphic and product designer for a number of years and has recently returned to painting. Her work is intuitive and focuses on shape and color. Details are unimportant and purposefully left unsaid. Most recently Sheryl has been concentrating on abstract figurative pieces. The figures integrate themselves as they seemingly float between the surface and the background. Her abstract landscape and non-representational work also play with color, shape and texture; Sheryl uses palette knifes, brushes and hand cut stencils to reduce images to the basic form in order to pull the viewer into each piece. Her artwork evokes a feeling of stillness and contemplation. Sheryl lives in San Luis Obispo on the central coast of California.
Transparency and flowing line, the play of cast shadows and light on a wall, sparkling, subtle states of being that invoke intimate, emotive responses. I imbue my pieces with an ephemeral presence and ability to catch and hold the light. Created from hand woven wire and glass, these pieces envelope viewers in a seductive, entranced space. Their transparent and intricate forms and jewel-like nature are unapologetic in their beauty. I am inspired by numerous varied sources, some of which include: Giacometti’s stretched and elongated figures, Judi Pfaff’s installations and deft use of material; and the sculptures of Anish Kapoor. My work explores the transient, poetic, and ephemeral experiences of our world—intimacy, emotion, and reflection, and offers a space for their consideration.
Since I was a kid I always wanted to go to places where I could look very far away, be it the mountains, the ocean or the never ending horizon of the Argentinean Pampas. I never knew what to say when people asked me what was I looking at. I guess that what I liked was precisely that there was nothing in particular to look at, it was a great feeling of liberation. When I start a painting my first motivation is to develop a space that presents no barriers for the eyes. That is why depth is so important to me. For many years I've been developing a technique that more than creating an illusion of depth, it rather transforms the space of the painting into a semi-three-dimensional space. This technique consists of innumerable layers of translucent acrylic colors applied between several coats of clear epoxy resin. One coat of the resin equals around fifty coats of varnish. After a few coats of resin you can build up the surface of the painting up to half an inch thick or more. The interaction of all these layers of colors between the coats of clear resin not only increases the depth, it also creates a much more vibrating final effect than the one you get when the colors are applied one on top of the other, without anything in between. When I finish a painting It is difficult sometimes to tell which is the dominant color. You can say it is green or red but if you look carefully you see that whatever color you are looking at it is not just that color, but the result of multiple interactions instead. I place the human beings that appear in my paintings very far away from the viewer, usually so close to the horizon that they frequently look on the verge of disappearing. I do that not only to further increase the depth but also because I want those human beings to be surrounded by a vast , naked and mysterious universe that presents no distractions, very different from the urban environment where most people spend their lives, an environment that is hopefully more conducive to explore our selves.
Time, nature, and the obsessive need to leave my mark... elements and energy flows... my work is a reflection on life processes and ecological cycles and the interdependence of things. I am particularly interested in the intersection of the natural world with the man-made environment and in recent years I have observed the many changes that man has brought to the natural terrain. I find myself rushing to record the moments preceding the changes, the moments just before the balance of life is altered irrevocably. The paintings become visual diaries, internal maps of vanishing landscapes and vanishing cultures. A painting evolves slowly, through layers of gesso, paint, charcoal and glazes. I often work on the floor, circling around, building up, scraping away, centering, focusing, performing the ritual gestures that are part of the process. It's an organic process, through which I become in touch with who I am and how the world is.