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It Started With The Sea - Meet Artist Reisha Perlmutter

This month we’re celebrating not only our connection to the ocean and the lifestyle we love (thanks to World Oceans Day and International Surfing Day falling in June), but we’re excited to share stories of amazing women who draw their inspiration and experiences from the sea.


Meet artist, Reisha Perlmutter. Her captivating hyperreal paintings of women underwater are so incredibly detailed that you would be forgiven in thinking they were photographs. Having grown up by the ocean in Florida, it’s no wonder that her earliest connections with the sea as a child have inspired her artistic realisations today.


We have admired Reisha’s work for years and were so excited to connect to hear more about her process and artistic influences.


Scroll down to view some of Reisha’s art and get to know the woman behind the work.


Can you describe what it is about water that inspires your work?

Water has colored so many of my experiences and memories. Since I can remember, I have been infatuated with the the way the light permeates through it leaving incredible reflections on skin, and the way it makes one feel weightless.


I am drawn to painting images with water because of its universal appeal. Beyond how it has influenced so many of my own memories, each human on this planet has an innate connection to it. We can feel the way it awakens our senses, just by looking at images of it.

How many hours go into one of your paintings?

That’s such a tough question because it always depends on the size, surface, and image that I am working with. I could make a painting in a day, or in a month.


What are some of your favorite early memories on the ocean?

I grew up a few blocks away from the beach, so I spent a great deal of my early childhood there.


I can remember being maybe three or four, and loving the adventure of swimming out to the sandbars during low tide. I would investigate the coquinas, and starfish that would temporarily wash up.


Sometimes I think about how much this has changed. I don’t see the abundance of life that I remember as a child.

You’re based in Brooklyn, where’s the nearest body of water you visit for inspiration?

I travel often. Although I am near the ocean in Brooklyn, I still head home to Florida every month or two, to get my fill of nature.

I crave the smell of salt water, and the emotions and memories it evokes.


What do you love about the ocean?

I love the vastness it, and its ability to ground me. It makes me feel insignificant in a way, like I am connected to something so much bigger than myself. The ocean has always felt like a life force to me.

Do you prefer freshwater or a saltwater?

I don’t have a preference, because they are each so different, and incredible in their own way.

There is such an abundance of life associated with the ocean, which I love. I grew up free diving and scuba diving, and regardless of where I was, I can always remember being in awe of the life underwater.

I have also spent each summer of my life thus far at our family cottage in Ontario, which is on a beautiful lake.

Fresh water to me has a quality of invigoration, and of cleansing. It feels pure, and beautiful.

What’s your favorite highlight in sharing your work?

I think that the most rewarding aspect of sharing my work is when viewers, followers, collectors, or whomever it may be, respond by saying that they feel connected to the work. I ultimately paint to create images that are emotionally accessible, and speak to something that's deep within and all of us. So for me, the best thing I can hear it as an artist, is when somebody says that they really feel something when they see my work.


Don’t forget to follow us on instagram for the next instalment of It started with the sea and meet the next amazing female we’re excited to feature.

View the series here >Meet the Rubias Collective // Meet Marine Biologist Olivia Rose