Emma Hirst (b. 1988) is a representational oil painter based out of Oakland, Calif., where she was born and raised. Emma has always had a passion for drawing and painting, and has been drawn towards realism for as long as she can remember. In 2006 she was introduced to the work of Anthony Waichulis through John Pence Gallery, and began a journey studying under him, on and off, as just an eager teenager. She eventually completed the rigorous “Language of Drawing” and “Language of Painting” programs in 2015, working for Waichulis as a full-time apprentice.
Emma continues to work realistically and is often inspired by natural objects and natural light. She enjoys putting together still-life compositions that are unique and complex, often using elements of geometry found in natural forms. Some of her still-life work uses negative space as a primary element of the composition, while in others she eliminates negative space altogether in order to focus solely on the details of the subject. Emma’s work has begun to branch out into landscape and portrait pieces, but these remain detailed and are strongly focused on composition and the natural world.
Second only to her passion for drawing and painting, Emma has an avid love for teaching and speaking about art and art education. She feels both a desire and a responsibility to share her knowledge of technical skill- building and two dimensional representation. She began her teaching endeavors in 2016, as a substitute teacher for 5 weeks at Ani Art Academy Anguilla, and has gone on to develop workshops and teach students at: Sadie Valeri Atelier in San Francisco, CA, Liv & Chiu Art Studio in Berkeley, CA, and through online mentorship/private lessons.
Emma has been featured in several successful exhibitions and noted publications. She continues to exhibit with Studio Gallery in San Francisco, CA, and Abend Gallery in Denver, CO.