Californian artist Isabel Emrich paints dazzling depictions of women submerged in water. Each colorful oil painting captures moments of tranquility below the water’s surface, as the artist’s subjects float meditatively, welcoming the dancing sunlight from above. The artist reveals, “My underwater collection is inspired by exploring the sensations of peacefulness and calmness, combined with the energy from the movement of the waves you feel when submerged.”
Emrich describes her work as “an Expressionistic style that straddles both abstraction and figuration.” Inspired by the work of Expressionism pioneers such as Van Gogh, her underwater paintings are rendered with an abundance of energetic brush strokes in a vibrant color palette. These layers of paint echo the fluid nature of water itself, capturing the sparkling light and ripples that reflect from the surface and illuminate the subjects’ skin.
Emrich reveals, “Indeed, being in water is one of most explicit examples one can imagine of ‘being in the moment.’ Time stands still, and once and for all the past and future disappears. Zen-like, one is in the here and now.”
Emrich’s fascination with water began while she was growing up in Southern California. Her grandmother would often bring her to beach cliffs, where they would observe the sea below and paint en plein-air (outside), just like the French Impressionists of the past. Her grandmother’s deceptively simple advice was “Just paint what you see.”
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