Naomi Ernest is an artist who creates abstract imagery, inviting the discovery of nuanced beauty and significance.
Ernest brings distinct experiences to her art practice, including years as a professional portrait photographer and collegiate studies in English Literature. Today, she employs the tools of photography, painting, and drawing to create a myriad of intricate details within balanced compositions, gently and assuredly commanding control over color, imagery, and materials.
She has exhibited her artworks at venues in California, Nevada, Maryland, and Michigan. Ernest has received various awards including recognitions for fine art photography and as a top-selling artist for Minted. West Elm, Design Sponge, Domino, Minted, Brit + Co., and more have published interviews with her and featured her artworks.
In 2001, Ernest graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently lives in an old farmhouse with her husband and five children amidst the inspiring landscapes of rural Michigan.
Although literature is my first true love, I continually foster an ever-evolving interest in visual art, exploring and expanding ideas, methods, and mediums. As I progressed, I came to more fully understand my relationship to art and ultimately embraced my calling as an artist. Today, my creative process is extremely important and functions as a vital component of my growing art practice. I typically have multiple projects going at once— painting, drawing, photography, writing. If I need a break from one project, I turn my focus to another; each medium informs the others.
I strive to allow the attributes and effects of various tools and techniques to be integral to each of my artworks. For example, I use my camera to explore color, composition, and focal dimensions, addressing mood and emotion with nebulous images rather than depicting a specific subject matter or form. By stretching and challenging the usual functions of photography and image-making, straying from norms in focus and exposure, I respond to nature’s enchanting but often overlooked moments of inspiration -- a lone leaf, a bold strike of a tree branch, the last burst of color in the leaves before they fade into browns and grays.
In my paintings, I employ a range of mediums and tools to achieve a visual balance amongst color, line, and form. I tend to create compositions of a single geometric form on a white background, often incorporating gold, silver, or copper leaf which allows for moments of complex texture and three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface. Shiny gilded bits stand out amidst the swirling and pooling colors, mirroring my experience of navigating the smooth and rough patches of life.
Ultimately, in both making my art and living my life, I try to coax all of the key elements into a complete, smooth, balanced resolution. My aim is consistent regardless of what form my artworks take: I want to attract viewers through an overall compositional simplicity and encourage them to discover the intricate details and complexities of an image.