Sherry Salant, Alcohol Ink & Mixed Media Artist
A word from Sherry…
I grew up in Chesterfield, Missouri. My grandfather was a sculpture artist and my father was an avid art collector. While other kids were spending the weekends playing tether ball and Four- Square, I was either on a road trip to New York City galleries, or at the Saint Louis Art Museum where my mother was a docent.
This is where I learned to appreciate tone, light, color, texture, and style. One of my most monumental times was when my sister and I spent the weekend with Thomas Hart Benton and his wife in their Kansas City home in 1968. He passed away a few years later and now his home is a historical museum.
I learned to appreciate more avant garde and surreal art in works by Salvador Dali, Alexander Calder, and color with August Renoir. My love for black and white photography and landscapes come from my favorite photographer, Ansel Adams. To this day, sepia and black and white photography are my favorites.
Over the years I dappled in drawing but found my true calling in photography and alcohol ink. It all started with that Kodak Brownie camera, then a Polaroid instant picture camera, Pentax K1000 workhorse, and has led to my precious Canon D50 digital SLR. Most of my learning came in a darkroom at the University of Missouri Journalism School of Photojournalism. This is where I learned how important it is that a picture tell a story or convey an emotion, the same way that my poetry does.
My alcohol ink paintings are organic in nature and a brush is just for blending colors with rubbing alcohol. The paint flows naturally over a nonporous surface as I pick up the hardboard and angle and dip it in different directions. It is only after I see how the ink flows that I determine what to paint, where.
When I got married, my husband built a darkroom in our basement where I spent endless hours learning techniques of dodging and burning. Now my Dectol, D76, and fixer have turned into Adobe Photoshop.
Sherry retired from teaching high school and college in 2012 and became a full time artist. For the past four years she has owned an art gallery in St. Louis, MO called Fine Art of Missouri.