Soul of the Sea

“My work so far conveys emotion above all --along with some of the haunting beauty of [Alaska].” - the artist

Lovely Scarlet, 2018, acrylic and ink, 16 x 20, prints available at society6.com

Lovely Scarlet, 2018, acrylic and ink, 16 x 20, prints available at society6.com

I grew up in some of the most remote parts of Alaska for many years without television or distraction, which gave plenty of time for exploring the woods and spending hours on the beach.  I took my first “art class” when I was a little girl from a nice neighbor who would give me “homework” which I treasured and took very seriously.  It stuck with me and I have been drawing or painting ever since.  At the time it gave me something to do and now I go back there again and again when I am painting, trying to convey a little of what it was like along with emotions and feelings from my own life and experiences along the way.

Daydream, 2018, acrylic and ink, 16 x 20, NFS, prints available at society6.com

Daydream, 2018, acrylic and ink, 16 x 20, NFS, prints available at society6.com

I am inspired by memory as I spend so much time thinking about it and my very special childhood.  Other inspirations are early expressionist painters, wild things and places, tiny fishing villages of all kinds, beautiful poetry, old story books, the sea and the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery pieces with gold making the piece more beautiful and unique by embracing the brokenness instead of discarding or hiding the piece.  I think about it as it relates to every woman I know and the ordinary every day struggles and emotions that cause the cracks in all of us. My work so far conveys emotion above all -- along with some of the haunting beauty of where I come from. I try to reflect a little of the sadness and soul of the sea in each piece.

An Emerald Day, 2018, acrylic and charcoal, 24 x 24, prints available at society6.com

An Emerald Day, 2018, acrylic and charcoal, 24 x 24, prints available at society6.com

I use a variety of materials and processes, mostly acrylic and sumi ink with charcoal.  I also love oils, gouache and watercolors.  I typically start three pieces at a time just to get the ideas down before I forget them and then I can go back and piece together what the feeling was and what I was trying to say. I am drawn to mixed media and expressionist painting, there is something about the life in the lines that conveys thoughts and emotions in a way that words cannot.

About the artist:

Teresa Kershaw is a contemporary American mixed media artist who lives in Spokane, Washington.  She was born in Seoul, Korea and raised in some of the most secluded logging camps of southeast Alaska.  She spent most of her time with her baby sister exploring the rocky beaches and “magical” forests of Alaska.  She began drawing as a child, always with a fascination of faces and emotions.  A recurring brain illness that began in her twenties left her with some permanent memory loss, and the aftermath of the illness and emotional toll it took has had a huge impact on her work.  She uses notes and photos to remind her of places and people from her past.  It was coming to terms with her illness that got her painting full time.  The emotion of this combined with her fragmented childhood memory are her two biggest inspirations.   Her work reflects the beauty and sometimes ugliness of human emotion and the depth behind the face of the invisible.  She is a self-taught artist who works with mixed media, often working on three or four paintings at once.  She uses  multiple layers of acrylics, oils, pastels, inks and/or wax in an expressionist style.    “I hope that if people really look at the faces in my work they will come away with some of the emotion I try to convey in each piece.”  


She is self taught and studied Art History at the University of Alaska as well as numerous art classes in various techniques over the years. She is a member of Artist Trust and began showing her work in 2018 at Terrain in Spokane, WA.  

To view more work by the artist, please visit www.teresakershaw.com. You may also follow the artist on Instagram @teresa.kershaw.art.


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