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SHERRI BELASSEN uses shapes and colors in a contemporary manner to create her unique artwork. Her work often portrays animals and figures in earth tones resonant with her Arizona home. She was born and raised in Indianapolis and attended the University of Missouri on a full track and field scholarship while majoring in fine arts. Her dreams of making the Olympics were derailed by a sports injury. She then channeled her energies fully into art, graduating form Indiana University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She credits her inspiration in design and composition to trips she took as a child with her father in his two-seater airplane. The patterns and colors of the landscape informed her later aesthetic, which is built around defined blocks of color. “In life and art, I try to stay true to myself and listen to my own voice.”
Figures have always been an important part of Gustlin’s repertoire. Her characters are frequently set in an alien-like landscape, moody and brooding, yet at the same time, depicting a sense of future. Jylian has been influenced by a lifelong love of the Bay Area Figurative artists. For the last several years, Jylian has been working on a series of paintings, both abstract and representational, that are based on the Fibonacci mathematical theories.
I paint everyday. I do studies. I paint walls. My studio is canvas, wood, tools and paint. It is my laboratory. It is a place for me to paint fresh and allow my inspiration to flow. I bring ideas here. Ideas for my paintings evolve from the experiences I have, colors that inspire me, and the objects that surround me everyday. I take these and put them together as a still life. The still life setting is my outlet. As a still life painter, I abstract elements in each painting allowing other qualities to take on a stronger role. I combine these abstracted forms with realistic and expressionistic views of objects, shapes and color. Part of my inspiration is pushing the boundaries of what can be done from a two-dimensional perspective. I need objects to exist figuratively to the extent that they define the space of a setting. I am fascinated with this space and the way that it can hold objects together or pull them apart. It is with color and texture I shape the focus of a painting and frame the essence of a still life setting with the feeling of a place.
Elise Remender’s love of painting began at an early age as she created imaginary worlds in her hometown of Phoenix, AZ. After graduating from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA with a degree in children’s book illustration and animation, Elise returned to Phoenix to continue practicing her original love of painting. It was here that she began creating abstract works, as well as landscapes and florals. “The most beautiful thing in Arizona to me was the pools. Everyone had a pool and I was drawn to the interplay between the reflected light and turquoise color of the water.” The dreamlike quality of shimmering turquoise pools inspired Elise to imagine a fantasy world of timeless beauty and the freedom of endless summers. She created her Bathing Beauties series to give a glimpse into this Technicolor world, blending the vibrant colors of pop art with the realism of contemporary traditional painting. “I chose the Bathing Beauties as my subject matter because I have always loved the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. I’m a bit of an old soul and there is a sense of elegance and beauty that has been lost in modern day society, and I seek to recapture this essence in my work. I’m creating a sort of fantasy world of luxury leisure and old Hollywood glamour.”