In the Studio: Sheryl Daane Chesnut

For this week’s In the Studio, we’re featuring our newest MiXX artist, mixed media painter Sheryl Daane Chesnut. Daane Chesnut’s large scale works on canvas are deeply textured and evocative, conjuring abstractions of forms and phenomena in nature. As part of our September show, A Singular Season, her atmospheric paintings inspire moments of stillness and reflection, and serve as a reminder of the restorative power of being in nature – and the importance of preserving the natural places we know and love.

Read through for Sheryl Daane Chesnut’s reflections on her process and inspiration.

“I am an avid hiker, both locally and in the Western US; a few years ago I was in the Sierra Nevadas and kept noticing the details and patterning in the granite, the plants, even in the soil. That hike made me look at nature differently. Instead of seeing the landscape in its entirety, I started looking at the beauty in the details and the overall patterning in nature. My artwork changed in response to this new viewpoint.

“I experiment with different pigments and powders, minerals, paints, and inks to capture – not the landscape, but the essence of a ‘place.’ I start each painting with an idea of color and an overall concept of where I want it to go, but ultimately I let go of control and allow the final piece to take on a life of its own.”

“I consider myself an alchemist on canvas: I work flat, and I pour layers of inks and paints, adding earth pigments and powdered metals which I manipulate with a heat gun. I use solvents and polymers that react differently with the various media, and I etch away layers to expose what is underneath. I strive to create work that engages the viewer, captures movement, and changes with the light of the day to bring the beauty and tranquility of nature into peoples’ lives.”

“I am lucky to live in San Luis Obispo on the Central Coast of California. Within a 10-mile radius I have a volcanic [mountain] range that provides miles of hiking trails, the Pacific Ocean, and open fields of crops and vineyards. I appreciate the beauty around me and – through my paintings – I hope to shine a light on the strength and the fragility of our earth.”

Stop by MiXX projects + atelier in Telluride through September 30th to view Sheryl Daane Chesnut’s work as part of our current show, A Singular Season – or click the link below to explore it virtually.