Sherri Belassen was born and raised in Indianapolis. Belassen demonstrated an interest in both art and sports from an early age. The discipline required to perform in sports instilled in her the importance of practice, focus, and repetition. Belassen was awarded a full track and field scholarship to the University of Missouri where she studied art. She later graduated with a BFA in painting from Indiana University, Bloomington.
After college, Belassen moved to Phoenix with the desire to paint in the sun. Belassen continues to live and work in Phoenix where she raised both her sons, who have been a gift of inspiration and a major force behind her work.
Belassen’s process begins with small ink sketches on paper which she later translates onto a large canvas. Belassen incorporates underpainting in the early stages of her work, using it as a jumping off point. From here, Belassen looks for where the painting is going to lead her, as most of her subject matter and imagery is drawn from her imagination. She states, “Not knowing where I’ll end up is exciting to me. Finding my way through each painting is always a unique experience.”
Using a palette knife and a paintbrush, the artist builds layers. Her compositions are created through the use of color and negative space, while the random pops of underpainting remain as a sense of history in her work. Thematically, Belassen’s work draws from power, strength, light, and positivity. For her, painting is a journey. Each artwork is another opportunity to venture somewhere unknown.
ON THE WALL: Inside the Artist's Studio
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