The Sean Rush Story
Into the Woods
I went into nature to escape my own life. I say this with no regrets for it was there, in the forests and lakes of my youth, that I found a place of deep focus. I sat still or moved quietly for hours. I focused on textures, colors, forms, and rhythms. I searched for balance and harmony, and found it.
My fiercely creative Granny recognized my artistic spark and gave me tools to explore the aesthetics that nature had begun to teach me. Now I had a purpose on my explorations so, with newsprint and charcoal, I slipped between the barb wire and went to the grazing fields behind my home. As a small boy on sun-warmed rocks surrounded by horses I found my inner artist.
All of my time became consumed with understanding form; whether it was the human form or the magnificent musculature of horses. Line and form were my intense preoccupation and I started a deliberate practice towards my 10,000 hours to mastery at a young age.
Out of the Woods and Into the World
I was hired just after high school into a small design firm as a decorative painter where I first realized I could make a living with my painting. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding the lives and work of classical artists throughout history. The scale of my projects grew along with my skill and soon I was painting entire narrative ceilings and domes in private estates.
During these years of climbing the scaffolding, I decided that I wanted to follow my love of Michelangelo and the Renaissance by studying classical painting in Florence, Italy. I rented a tiny apartment near the Arno River, a few doors down from the Buonnoroti family home. As I walked to class each day, I had the humbling realization that I was walking on the same cobblestone streets that my luminary Michelangelo had walked on. It was a time of complete immersion and deep connection.
Expanding the Palette
When I returned to the states, I continued to specialize in classical architectural painting. Because my clients trusted my eye, they soon began asking me to re-design their homes as well. I began to thrive in the interior design field by envisioning spaces through the eyes of an artist.
My design philosophy has always been heavily influenced by my art because I see things as compositions. Each time I study a space I contemplate and visualize both the broad strokes and details of the completed rooms, just as I would a painting. Not confined to surfaces, furnishings and accessories, I reimagine and redefine the spaces them- selves to make them livable and relevant. This requires thinking outside of a single discipline, following the footsteps of my Renaissance heroes Michelangelo and DaVinci. Beyond painting, they also understood sculpture, architecture and engineering.
Finding Balance and Bliss
I currently have an Atelier in West Palm Beach and, from the moment I picked up the keys, the design intent has always been a cross between a stable and a temple. It serves as an open door between the two worlds of art and design where I find balance and bliss.
As of late, I’ve been drawn towards Equestrian portraiture. A few years back, my first horse painting came to me completely composed in a dream. As I was developing it, I realized I was painting a memory. It was the same intimate child-like viewpoint of the noble beasts that used to surround me in the fields of my youth. As I paint each new commission, I still sense the horse close enough to feel its breath on the back of my neck.
After 20+ years of interior design, I find myself returning to the sense of sanctuary I sought in nature where I first learned the primal elements of art. Now I use those same elements to create contemporary sanctuary in interior spaces. I meld living space with sacred space by creating rooms that feel quiet and tranquil enough to meditate in. As I travel the world curating global artifacts and distinc- tive items, I celebrate the artistry of these finds bearing the “hand of man” by resting them against humble materials to create organic altars for contemplation everywhere.