About


Vanessa Lemen is an award-winning painter based in Carlsbad, CA, with works exhibited and in private collections internationally. Her paintings are layered in subtle allegory, with an explorative process that intertwines realism and abstract to depict figure, environments and forms with metaphor and story. Her work is featured in 2 new illustrated limited edition books: The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin and A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick, and is published in such art books as Spectrum, Women of Wonder, The Journal, and Infected By Art, and has been featured in articles in magazines such as American Art Collector, ImagineFX and Poets And Artists. Vanessa also writes monthly columns for the Muddy Colors blog and is an educator who mentors privately, teaches classes online, and instructs at workshops across the US. Her recent work has earned her The Chesley Award, and other awards in publications such as Infected by Art, a Spectrum Award nomination, as well as awards in Art Renewal Center's ARC Salon, and participation in the International ARC Salon Exhibition.

Listen to interviews below.


To view or purchase her work, or for a commission proposal, contact vanessalemen@yahoo.com.

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Artist's Statement about her process:
"I'd definitely say that I have a responsive and permeable sort of painting process, and I'm fascinated with finding similarities between the familiar and the unknown. There's so much life and grit in both aspects, in the possibility of chance, and in what many might call the mistakes or imperfections. It's what I love about using different tools and materials, and making abstract marks. It affords me the opportunity to explore and discover while becoming familiar with things, to journey into unknown territory. Experimenting with new tools provokes new ways of processing something, and guides me to the possibility of connecting with something on the fringes or beyond. Exploration is absolutely essential to the process for me, and exploring and discovering can happen in all areas of painting, be it in the abstract areas or in the rendering or representational areas. It's different sometimes depending on the area or the stage of the painting I'm working on, but overall, it's a digging deeper and truly getting lost in the best way. Lost in a place of reflection, curiosity, and wonder.

What's quite amazing to think about is how the exploration pertains to the finished painting too. How the dialogue between artist and surface gets passed along in the form of the painting itself. There's a story there now in the marks, like subtle runes that are left to be deciphered, and it's open to different interpretations. It might even be something that we all can't quite put into words – and that may be one of the biggest motivations for us to keep scratching at the surface. The paintings we create and share can invite someone in to connect, to experience that intangible place, and to communicate with one another in ways that are more universally understood."
a couple Podcast Interviews:


Interview with Chet Zar on The Dark Art Society Podcast:
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