Sheryl Daane Chesnut


In the past two decades physics’ view of nature’s lack of structure—its unpredictability— underwent a major renovation with the discovery of deterministic chaos. Behind the veil of apparent randomness many of nature’s processes are highly ordered, following simple rules. Fractal properties are found in many natural phenomena: ocean waves, snowflakes, crystals, algae, and river networks among others.

These qualities of ordered chaos interest artist Sheryl Daane-Chesnut. She employs an organic and experimental process using polymers and metals with oil and acrylic paint. She pours and layers, utilizing an array of natural elements: salts, minerals and powdered earth pigments; each activating the surface of the canvas differently. Strokes and scratches appear to be exposed from underneath layers of ice and stone, metals float across, transparent layers entrap movement underneath, and the minerals dry and crystallize to create an ice like surface. With a myopic view of the planet and its landmasses and details, Daane-Chesnut strives to capture the essence of our natural environment.