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Meet Sonoma County Artist Karina Nishi Marcus

While visiting Karina Nishi Marcus’ light-filled studio in Sebastopol, I noted that her large canvases were an expression of exuberance in line, form and color. These are the basic ingredients of abstract art.

But there is so much more to her paintings.

For Nishi abstraction provides never-ending possibilities with always something new and unknown to explore. To create her paintings Nishi uses acrylics and mixed-media in ways that express the forces of nature, and with this energy she “attempts to discover new territory and new knowledge”. (Photo by Robert Marcus)

As a world traveler, Nishi is influenced by the many cultures and traditions she has experienced. With an interest in art history, from cave paintings to contemporary art, she considers all of it to be a part of her personal history.

In particular she continues to be influenced by Cezanne, saying that, “When I realized he was reporting his own way of seeing — that if you look at a table top with two eyes, the levels really are different — it opened me up to vast possibilities.”

More locally, Nishi is continually nourished and inspired by the energy of the Pacific Ocean, coastal redwood forests, and the sense of awe and mystery that surrounds us. Inspired by breathing, and motivated by color, she puts forth these visceral impressions onto surfaces of canvas and paper with the action of brush and paint.

Having lived in Sonoma County for over 25 years, Nishi feels that “The general tone of the atmosphere fosters such creativity here. The beauty of the landscape, the rise of the mountains, the rustle of the waves, and the number of artists and creative people working in all genres — add to the great quality of life to be enjoyed.”

Currently Nishi is working on a series of eight small paintings and four larger ones. She also has an on-going project of working in a sketchbook, with plans for more drawings, works on paper, and differently shaped wood surfaces. “I love working” she said enthusiastically.

Nishi’s work can be seen in her studio/gallery called the Nishi Expressionist Studio Gallery, which is located at 2371-A South Gravenstein Highway and open Friday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., and whenever the “open” sign is displayed.

She encourages visitors to stop by and talk about ART! Her work can also be seen in an upcoming exhibit at the Cloverdale Arts Alliance Gallery from May 16 to July 17. Additionally her work is always available for viewing on her website, www.paintpilgrim.com.

Find more info about arts & culture and things to do in Sonoma County.

Written by Satri Pencak


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