Inside the Studio

Visit with Keisha Prioleau-Martin

Contorted in Twister-like positions riding bikes, doing yoga and caring for plants, Keisha Prioleau-Martin’s vividly hued characters spill and slip across their canvas confines. The electricity of her figure’s gestures are echoed through her vigorous paint handling. By dragging her brush through thick paint to create ripples and waves and embedding beads and other objects into the painting’s surface, Keisha’s paintings are layered with texture, color and movement.

0ead7085 654b 4c72 9a1e d945ddc3f6d3
C7200693 faba 43a5 8ab9 b20c584b5336
B0c1b801 5b35 498e 91fd 09dfcfd02030

“I draw from life whenever I can and in the last three years I have been incorporating drawings from memory and inventing the form to emphasize emotion.”

— Keisha Prioleau-Martin

7c557e2f db56 42f6 bbcc e9fe03eb12da
2b7ea1b8 950b 499c 986e 046116af7b3e
998fcae9 3cd3 4df9 bbff c938705a4f0f
5c9b4577 e61c 4d9a 90b4 ece759409620

“I thought about the experience of a young artist drawing from life: at first, they aren’t looking at the model enough and make assumptions about what the model looks like. Suddenly, their eyes are bigger, their hips are perfect curves. Their subconscious takes over the drawing and it becomes about how the young artist feels about the body instead of learning what they see.”

— Keisha Prioleau-Martin

A2c55608 ef84 444d 96e8 7b1c31c737c9
6db858cc b0e1 4e62 97b5 c84a8865c09f
Bd4cf83c 4dc0 4fdb b1a8 ee36cea3e411
E07a6854 7cc6 47d7 b817 33de3d4c8253

“Some of the themes that reoccur in my work are celebration, joy, and humor. There’s dancing and playing and lounging and bathing and biking.”

— Keisha Prioleau-Martin

Cf5544de 2a12 419e 83a8 65df54471304
1496def8 b077 4dee b192 59d00288a891
9ab27b8f 280a 46b0 b2b2 03954ee00093
Ae631b7c 4cce 4462 adaa 4c89535e9dc0

“A lot of planning goes into my work. I make lots of drawings in my sketchbook or on small pieces of paper. That initial drawing will lead to a series of drawings where I consider altering composition, values, and types of marks I would like to use. After iterations of these drawings have been made in graphite, pen, and India ink, I feel confident enough to paint it.”

— Keisha Prioleau-Martin

3feabce5 0de1 4906 9a9a b6c946456457
Ef98ccd0 4825 4799 acc2 621c744425a7
31f1c46c 933b 4c3b ac88 8c33b9aa5158

More From Keisha Prioleau-Martin

More from Inside the Studio

Tour Artist Studios
86ec1dc6 6113 48f5 aa11 66ced1e32c1c
Inside the Studio Visit with Karina Bania

Follow us inside the studio of Karina Bania where she crafts large scale abstract paintings that incorporate elements of still life to evoke a snapshot of a moment in time.

More from the Journal

Browse Posts
2c799f93 021a 4665 9f9c 626519e5d5d0
Meet Sarah Ingraham

Sarah Ingraham looks to ceramics and textiles from all over the world as inspiration in her work, which combines ancient motifs with a fresh palette.