pauline Chernichaw

Pauline Chernichaw





German born, American artist Pauline Chernichaw’s photographic works explore the interplay of reflected light on water.  Fragmented by the luminosity of the sun’s shifting rays, Chernichaw’s mesmerizing images trap stretches of dancing colors that are mirrored on the ever-changing water’s surface. Through her downward angle of vision she blends atmospheric imprints to make visible what is invisible experiencing a moment of exhilarating discovery. Chernichaw‘s images capture that “decisive moment” in which the rendering of light breaking on the water’s surface is transformed into abstract works of art.





I have been trained in both painting and photography. I cherish the solitude of painting in my art studio, and the immediacy of shooting and printing my images...magical....


Painting allows me to create in my quiet space, while photography allows me to create out in the world.


I am fascinated by the dichotomy of shapes and forms, squares and circles, focus and out-of-focus, intense color and saturation and grey tones, light and dark, smooth as opposed to texture.


Artists have the need and passion to create.  It is who we are.




Visual Artist, Pauline Chernichaw’s thoughts on water and the “Breaking Surface”


My selected photographs in the exhibition, “Breaking Surface”, are to be viewed as abstract works of art. My intention is to create nonfigurative images that envelop the viewer with emotion and visual beauty.

“Water Series” #5, is one of the first images of water that I photographed.  I shot this picture at a reservoir in Connecticut.  Focusing my camera downward, I was captivated by the elongated shapes and colors that were created by the luminous reflection of light on the water’s surface.

I began shooting….

In “Water Series” #18, I converted what was a color image to a Black and White photograph revealing a more graphically abstracted picture, similar to that of a line drawing.   

In my photographs, “Water Series” #2, #4 and #12, I am drawn to the concepts of the color field painters. “Water Series” #2 abandons any suggestion of a horizon line or perspective, emphasizing a lyrical rhythm of color and line. In “Water Series #4 the color splashes of blue, red and yellow expressively interplay with that of the water’s movement. The sun’s reflection on the water’s surface in “Water Series” #12 creates a soft color palette, not unlike a subtle wash of paint. The unstructured vertical and horizontal shapes delicately dissolve into the picture plane, rendering a calming and conceptually ethereal photograph.

Water is reflective and fluid. Water is unpredictable and forever changing.   The interaction of Light on the surface of water is a mesmerizing “visual feast for the eyes”.



05.chernichaw_p_water series #19_2009