Medium: Mixed-media painting
Self-starting abstract artist Emily Meder a proves that art education doesn’t have to come from universities. Instead, she learns from the internet and constantly creating new art, which has found her audience in both the Fox Cities and online.
The kaleidoscopic designs she paints are vivid, enigmatic and otherworldly, but her inspirations come from an unexpected source: nature. Her YouTube tutorial “Sunset with Trees” exemplifies this, embracing nature and the abstract.
In the video, Meder covers a canvas with rubbing alcohol. This secret ingredient allows indigo-blue ink globs she carefully places next to come to life, expanding slightly and roaming the canvas. She adjusts their pathways with a can of compressed air and occasionally spritzes a drop of alcohol or paint to change the background’s shape and color depth. Once that’s finished, she paints a pair of leafless trees that juxtapose the dreamlike background full of blues, purples, reds and oranges where no one part of the background looks quite the same.
“I stare at trees a lot because I love them. What inspires me is nature, and I kind of create my own form of that. Obviously they’re not super realistic. It’s just however it comes out on paper,” Meder says. “I think it’s really beautiful.”
Rather than going to college for art, Meder says she teaches herself through “experimenting and practice.”
“I’m always learning and changing my techniques,” Meder says. “If you don’t have the resources to go to school, there’s so many resources online where you can learn things.”
Meder’s paintings have been featured at Copper Rock Coffee Company in Appleton, the Source Public House in Menasha and Flesh Chamber tattoo shop in Appleton. Online, she’s active on Instagram, Facebook, Etsy and Redbubble. On YouTube, she makes tutorial painting videos for her nearly 5,000 subscribers.
“I take a couple art forms that people seem to be struggling to learn, and I try to make them both learning [experiences] and relaxing.”
Meder, who describes herself as “really shy and reserved,” values art as a means of connecting to others.
The goal is “to use creating things to connect with people,” Meder says. “People, when they tell me my landscapes are really beautiful, and I see how they react to them, it makes me connect more than I usually do.”
For more information about where to find Meder’s art, video tutorials and online shops, visit www.emilymederart.com.