We welcome artist Emily Habansky to our FLAX Oakland store this weekend as part of our FLAX Artist in Residency program. We first met Emily when we moved our flagship store to 1501 Martin Luther King Jr Way in Oakland. An Oakland resident, she quickly became one of our regulars, and we quickly became huge fans of her work.
Emily is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she studied Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing. After RISD, Emily started painting multimedia work. She is an abstract expressionist deeply inspired by nature. She has won several artist awards. Her process is intuitive and energetic. She has shown throughout the East Coast and the Bay Area in California.
Emily is a master of layering. She creates an incredible sense of depth through the use of different mediums including high flow acrylics, pen and ink, and watercolor. There is a rhythm and energy to the way in which she lays down paint. Her landscapes are an explosion of color that are at the same time meditative and vibrate with emotion. Her most current work explores the energy of women and the female form. Emily is interested in setting a mood and capturing an energy in her work, which she accomplishes through an exploration of the various mediums in which she works.
The layers you create in your work allow for a unique interplay of colors. Some of your landscapes seem to play more with contrasting color dynamics, while others use a more limited palette. How do you approach color when creating a work?
I am always trying to achieve depth through using unusual combinations and variations of colors. I find that color has such a capacity to be impactful in different ways. My choice in palette depends on the extremes and nuances that I am trying to create.
Your current work explores the beauty of the female form. These forms are articulated through very physical gestures of lines. What is it about the female form that entices you and how does that influence how you create these shapes?
I think it is the energy behind the female form. The effortlessly feminine aspects of the female spirit. Most of my drawings are inspired by the whimsical essence of most fashion illustrations.
You've been a fan of Yupo paper for a while. (Aren't we all!) What is it about this paper that makes it one of your surfaces of choice?
Yupo paper is the best! I enjoy it for a multitude of reasons. I like that it is semi-transparent. I like that it has a smooth surface and feels like I am essentially painting on acetate. I find that when working with inks and watercolor, it dries without leaving much texture on the surface. I like to add different bodies of acrylic paints and high flow paints that can create different effects. My process tends to be additive and subtractive, and yupo paper has a resilience to it that I like for the multimedia work that I do.
You will be turning our store into your studio the weekend of August 18th & 19th. In your own studio, do you have any ritual practices that go along with your art making? What will you be working on at FLAX this weekend?
In my studio, I tend to work along with music. That seems to be a ritual of mine. Essentially my painting practice will consist of working on some different multimedia painting processes that I’ve been exploring in my previous studies of working with Yupo paper.
You're a FLAX Customer, what do you like about FLAX?
I love that Flax has a great Golden paint collection, a wide variety of paintbrushes, a beautiful artisan paper collection, gorgeous leather bound journals and other such specialty items that make it like no other art supply store. I have had an opportunity to try different mediums that I may not have had I gone to a different supply store. Everyone there is super knowledgeable and they have been very supportive and helpful with my creative process as long as I have been going there. I also think it’s pretty awesome that they are in Oakland.
See more of Emily’s work at www.emilyhabansky.com
Follow Emily @eeh_design
CLICK HERE to learn more about our Weekend FLAX Artist Residencies.