An artist's unique perspective on Seattle's watery world | KUOW News and Information

An artist's unique perspective on Seattle's watery world

Apr 25, 2016

Niki Sherey Keenan’s moments of inspiration arrive when most of us are still in bed.

“There might be a sunrise that only lasts five seconds,” she explains. “It would stick with me all day.”

Sherey Keenan recreates these special moments in her dream-like paintings.

She describes herself as a landscape artist, but she’s really more of a waterscape painter trying to capture the beauty of the Seattle waterways she loves.

Although Seattle is surrounded by water, most people experience it from the shoreline, a bridge or a ferry deck. Sherey Keenan is a rower; she experiences the lakes from just inches above the water's surface in the seat of the 30 pound boat she strokes around the city's lakes.

“Being on the water is different than driving by and looking out your car window,” she says. “When I’m sitting in a boat, on the water, I’m enveloped in the landscape. It’s above me and below, I’m literally floating through it."

Sherey Keenan grew up in Texas, where there wasn’t much water. She says if she’d stayed there, she would have painted the rolling hills and big sky. But Seattle has been her home for more than a decade. She can't imagine moving away.

“Being on Lake Washington every day, I never lack for things to paint!”

A show of Niki Sherey Keenan’s latest paintings opens May 7 at Seattle’s College Club.

Artist Niki Sherey Kennan
Credit KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman