Mixed Media Artist Allison Renshaw

San Diego-based mix-media artist, surfer and mother Allison Renshaw transports viewers into her world of fragmented imagery.

Art Break // 10/29/12
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Artist Allison Renshaw paddling out.
Fever by Allison Renshaw
Technomarine by Allison Renshaw...

Artist Allison Renshaw's painting explodes like a firework right in front of you, and that's exactly how she wants you to see it: In bits and pieces.

"I'm interested in fragmented images and the possibility that partial imagery has in the mind of the viewer," she explains.

Renshaw, who is an avid surfer, has been working as a full-time artist for the past 12 years. She's become known for large-scale, mixed-media paintings—made from paint, ink, spray paint and maps—that often reference surfing and the ocean, which she says hold importance to her. "I'm really just a water person. I find time in the water to be therapeutic; it's part of my daily life." Besides the water, it's Renshaw's husband and four-year-old son Atticus (yes, a reference to the classic book To Kill A Mockingbird) that are her main sources of inspiration. "Recently, at the top of Mt. Whitney, I thought about how blessed I am to live on this beautiful planet with my amazing family," she remembers.

Renshaw's studio is situated near Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, CA, the perfect atmosphere for an artist. "It has loads of natural light and wall space," she says. "It has a roll-up door and a killer storage unit for sliding paintings in—sometimes I work really big—that my husband made for me." Her oversized work space is telltale of her painting style—she isn't one to tote drawing pads or pens around with her. Instead, she lets the creative process take her wherever it likes. It's like the advice Renshaw likes to give the students in her figure drawing classes: "Do what you love, not what you think you should be doing."

If you're interested in a piece by Allison Renshaw, you can contact her at alliart@sbcglobal.net!



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