Photo: Courtesy of Meryl Cohen
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I made Aliyah in 2010 from the United States with my husband of 30 years. We are a blended family of 8 children. I am self-taught, but was fortunate enough to always have excellent mentors to keep me growing as an artist. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember always doing something with my hands. My fascination with two-dimensional art shaped my childhood. A degree in Business and a brief career in the interior design world as a drapery manufacturer and specialist allowed me to incorporate fabrics from my workroom into paintings, developing a mixed media approach to the visual arts. I love to swim and walk for exercise. I read a lot on my Kindle.
What inspired you to become an artist?
I guess it is the way I view the world. Some of my earliest memories are working with my hands, making paper designs and patterns, an activity that’s become the basis of my artistic vocabulary. I have always seen the world as a series of infinite patterns, shapes and colors.
What is your specialty?
I am a mixed media artist. My originals are created on canvas in a layered silk fabric process with acrylic paint on gray-scale photography. The result is very dimensional. I actually hand dye sheer silk and use it as my color box. I developed this technique myself.
How and where do you work?
I have a studio in my home.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
The atmosphere is just right.
Where do you take your inspiration? Are you pursuing any themes?
I like to work in series. I have three series that I have been developing for a while. One is old cars and trucks as a metaphor for growing old, like “Rusty but Ready;” doors (60x120cm) as gateways to something; nature as in rocks, trees, bark and flora. I am drawn to their figurative nature, varied colors and patterns. People tell me that after seeing my work they look at trees differently.
Do you do bespoke work?
What projects are you currently working on?
I am finishing a rear end view of a red pickup truck and ruminating on my next piece. Also, getting ready for a show I am hopefully having with two other artists in September.
What is your favourite item in your current collection?
I am totally into the piece I am working on at the time. But if I had to choose a favorite, I would say my Sacred Forest. It is four canvases that work as an installation. They give the viewer the feel of walking in a forest. It is my most popular piece.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
Good question. When I think I am finished, I put it aside for a while glancing at it periodically. If it still holds together, I consider it done. I think every artist that looks at their past work can always say that there was something they could have done better. That is a sign that they are growing as an artist.
What was the first artwork you ever sold?
It was in Atlanta sold to an interior designer who fell in love with this piece for a client.
Which projects have you enjoyed working on the most so far?
The cars and trucks have been a surprise for me. I actually just finished a car and sold it even before I had it professionally photographed.
What do you want to achieve with your work and what are your wishes for the future?
To be able to continue to create, fulfilling my need as an artist to do so. To open the viewer’s eyes to the infinite beauty of all creation with its infinite variations of pattern and color.
Where can we find your work?
In my studio/gallery in Beit Shemesh,
Etsy for Israel: https://www.etsy.com/shop/merylcohenart/
Photos: Courtesy of Meryl Cohen
Photo: Courtesy of Meryl Cohen