Featured Artist Sheri Rush

Sheri Rush’s colorful abstract paintings convey a fascinating visual expression of the landscape. Visit her website to see more of her portfolio.

 

Mixed media landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“At Critical Junctures” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 96” x 72”

 

I am a Chicago based painter whose practice includes photography and collage. I received a BFA in painting from Texas Christian University and a MFA in painting from the University of Chicago, and have been making paintings for over forty years.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Numen” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 120” x 90”

 

My work investigates the relationship of personal history, landscape, the nature of memory, recollection and the digital image.

 

Abstract mixed media landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Illimitable” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 120” x 90”

 

I grew up in Texas. I studied painting privately throughout my childhood. College was my first formal education in art and my first art history class. It was all those hours of looking at art in the dark that changed my life.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Recombination of Elements” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paints on Canvas, 72” x 60”

 

Many artists influenced me but it was the Abstract Expressionists, particularly Mark Rothko, who turned a lightbulb on for me. A year later I made a pilgrimage to Houston and when I walked out of the Rothko Chapel, I knew I would pursue art forever.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Rephrasing” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Paper, 51” x 42”

 

My work has always been landscape derived but never from a descriptive point of view. My identity is steeped in a particular place–my family farm in Texas. I photographed it for twenty years, building a huge archive of material, which fed my painting practice for years.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Transposition” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 72” x 60”

 

My paintings have been psychological, symbolic and metaphorical, but always communicating a different visual experience of landscape.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Steeped in Those Dark Oscillations” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 118” x 85”

 

Today, we view landscape through layers—our immediate experience of the sublime is filtered through windows and lenses as we seek the postable digital image. The geneses for these paintings are photographs taken with a phone camera through the window of a moving car, bus or train.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Suffuse” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 84” x 72”

 

I deconstruct and reconstruct these visual experiences dissolving into multiple paint layers and mark making. Abstracting the journey allows for inward reflection while sifting through memories and personal history, permitting a mental shift to occur.

 

Mixed media abstract landscape painting by Sheri Rush

“Volition” Spray, Acrylic and Oil Paint on Canvas, 96” x 72”

 

I draw on the fluid abstraction of another artist who has influenced me, Pat Steir, to render the movement of the journey. I use spray and acrylic paint to quickly build layers, switching to oil paint to build the final layers and translucent geometric forms. Turning the paintings, I work from two directions. The vertical drips give a sense of motion, blurring forms while asserting surface flatness but they also help build different spaces.

 

Artist Sheri Rush at work in her studio

Artist Sheri Rush at work in her studio

 

Though framing an experience of the sublime, the formal and expressive potential of paint is an essential aspect of my process and journey. Spray paint, acrylic paint and oil paint all produce different mark making, glazes and drips. Experimenting and finding the unique qualities of each kind of paint is an important part of my process.

 

Artist Sheri Rush invites you to follow her on Facebook and  Instagram and through the artist’s platform Foundwork.

 

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