Award winning artist Sheri Trepina uses collage to create beautifully colored, textural and abstract art that is inspired by nature. Please visit her website to see more of her work.
I was born in the state of Washington where I spent my summers at the family pear orchard in Cashmere. I lived in Honolulu, Hawaii during the school year. The beauty of the family farm located at the base of the Cascade Mountains and the lush land and seascape of Hawaii had a great impact on my love of colour, texture and pattern.
My artworks are inspired by elements of nature; leaves, rocks, branches and their textures marbled with colour. Seasonal changes in the natural environment will inspire my colour palette and nurtures me to tell the story of that moment or of a memory from the past.
Most of my paintings include a collage of rice papers which channel and absorb paint and water in very exciting ways. The method of collage and marking the paper with leaf imprints gives my work its abstract quality.
In my current body of work, I am exploring the use of locally harvested leaves by capturing their impression with watercolor or acrylic onto paper or canvas.
I first apply watercolour liberally onto my support, positioning leaves and rice paper shapes until I feel I have a good guideline for the art piece I have in my mind. I cover and weight the piece down for at least 24 hours. I resist the temptation to peek.
Once I remove the weights, leaves and sometimes some of the rice paper, I have the beginning of my composition. The unveiling is always a surprise and is where my mind swirls with ideas, all the possibilities of how to develop and work from the marks in front of me.
I never have a finished piece at this point. I use mark making as a guide and inspiration, intending to build from there. I sometimes detail cut out leaf marked paper to use as collage pieces in other works.
Following a career in the environmental industry in California, my husband and I moved to Montana to be located mid-way between our parents. We no longer have long plane rides to see our family and help with chores as both parents are farmers.
I now have two working studios, one here at my Montana home and a beautiful new space in the midst of my family’s orchard in Washington. I am the fourth generation in the family to draw inspiration and creativity from the land. It is an honor.