Surrealism Frees Her Soul

Natalie Peisl paints the meanderings of her mind.


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Natalie Peisl.

Photo by Lance Yamamoto

Natalie Peisl is a free spirit. She embraces her wandering mind, infinite distractions, and unbound possibilities, and translates them into art. Her works capture a surreal quality of those meanderings in image and words.

Peisl, who moved to the Bay Area from Southern California in 1992, has lived in Alameda for six years, and her Park Street home and art studio have a view of the Oakland hills. As she works, Peisl allows her mind to open for artistic exploration.

She is a self-taught artist and poet whose credentials are her life experiences, and her work is an outlet to examine them. “My paintings and illustrations derive from poems, or sometimes a poem follows the painting,” Peisl said.

Peisl is attracted to watercolor paper for its metaphorical properties and explained, “The paper relates to the fragility of life; it’s delicate yet it withstands and upholds its beauty and strength with significance and endurance.”

Sometimes Peisl chooses acrylic paint for its ability to capture mood through richness and texture. She often adds hidden symbols and messages to her imagery that only her most intimate friends and family can decipher, a practice that increases the mystery of her paintings.

Inspired by the old masters of Surrealism like Salvador Dalí and Frida Kahlo, Peisl includes contemporary artist Tim Cantor as an influence. “His work truly captivates the mind, heart, and eyes by portraying the realness of life with a beauty and intensity that extends well beyond the canvas,” she said. In a similar fashion, Peisl aims to capture the soul in her paintings, hoping that her imagery can allow healing for the viewer.

Apart from her studio work, Peisl volunteers for Inspire, an art education program sponsored by the California Teachers Association in Southern California. “Inspire is a wellness program designed as a giveback for a select group of teachers specifically chosen for their contributions to the profession this year,” she said. Peisl facilitated a project of art and poetry for participants.

See Peisl’s artwork at the website for the Alameda Art Association (AlamedaArtAssociation.com). A new series of Peisl’s paintings with words will be on exhibit in August at the association’s gallery.

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