On July 3rd, Stephanie Chefas Projects is delighted to present ‘Pond Song’ the second solo exhibit by painter and illustrator Tess Rubinstein. ‘Pond Song’ is a practice in paying attention. A collection of quiet moments spent in companionship with fog, flower and tide, exploring the sensate experience of the rural California coastline. Each piece serves as a sort of sensory field note, cataloging the sights, sounds, smells, and textures of forest, beach, marsh, and pond.

“I approach an environment as an artist and naturalist, investigating the core idea that one can deepen relationships to place through full body awareness.”, states Rubinstein. “The process of learning a flower, for example, not just by its name and form, but by the whole sensory experience of the site it’s rooted in. I use vivid color to capture the vitality and near-technicolor splendor of this embodiment. How a simple shift in attention can reveal a single moment as vital and textured….quail call, lichen tangle, acrid tide.

This work stands alongside a year of loss and isolation, but also a year of finding aliveness and kinship in soft, unassuming places. The patience of an egret perched roadside, the tenderness of a coastal cliff eroding in the wind. ‘Pond Song’ explores what happens in noticing the stillness, honoring the curiosity, and stripping away the narrative. How does one discover this world, moment by moment, and ourselves in the process?”

Tess Rubinstein is a multidisciplinary artist hailing from a foggy mountain in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her practice is centered around moments of simple joy, using painting, illustration, and textile design to encourage a nurturing of the present moment. She finds inspiration in her current landscape, as well as patchwork quilts, slow living practices, and the uninhibited female form. She received her BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2017.