Cermanski lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has been painting for almost three decades and has a Bachelor’s in Art History and a Masters in Art Education. Cermanski has exhibited her work in five solo and nine group shows, including Feminists Under Forty, which was curated by Judy Chicago. Cermanski is featured in E. Ashley Rooney’s Contemporary Art of the Southwest (2014), and has numerous collectors around the country, including two corporate collections. She is currently represented by galleries in New Orleans and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.
My work is a conversation in color inspired by the intricacies of our natural world. Extracting my palette from nature, my work embodies the delicate interplay of light and color, texture and form. While working, I intuitively synthesize memories of the land, sky and water, allowing something new to emerge–a metamorphosis. The culmination results in capturing the essence of a place vaguely familiar to us all. Similar to the excitement of recognizing familiar images while watching clouds, my work seeks to grasp the contemplative eye of the viewer.
My current work explores my relationship with the tumbleweed. An invasive plant with a storied, symbolic history which romanticizes the American West, tumbleweeds overtake everything - the land, the yard, the imagination - during the windy Spring months in New Mexico. Each plant disperses 250,000 seeds as it travels along the landscape, thus making it difficult to eradicate. In response to the giant piles that accumulate around my home, I devised a contraption to burn and attempt to eradicate the rolling offenders from our property.
“Tumbleweed Black” is the novel paint I create following a neighborhood tumbleweed-burning party; it integrates the charred remnants with acrylic medium and water. I then choose one rock pigment that I collected from Northern New Mexico to pair with tumbleweed black, and create a pigment pour. The two different paints are poured onto wood or canvas, and interact with each other with little interference from me. The process of collecting the charcoal, making paint, and creating artworks out of tumbleweed black transforms my relationship with the plant, from frustration to fascination.
With this dramatic jet-black paint, I am redefining the tumbleweed’s narrative from romantic to realistic: they outcompete native plants, are a wildfire risk, put farmer's crops at risk, and will become more prolific as a result of climate change. These paintings are at odds with the traditional representation of the lone tumbleweed blowing down a dusty road, and call for a revision of this romanticized history: tumbleweeds are in fact the fastest growing invasive plant in U.S. history. In contrast, the rocks I collect to make pigments date back as early as the Paleozoic era, and carry within them the precious mark of time. Thus these paintings celebrate the New Mexico landscape: the invasive versus the native, tumbling versus stability, and the ancient versus the new.