For Kaoru Mansour, nature has always occupied center stage. A native of Japan, Mansour began her formal art training at Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles. Her current works are comprised of multiple layers of pigment and collage details built upon wooden panels and canvas. She begins the process by coating the surface with layers of acrylic paint, allowing raku-like crackles to form that resembles an ancient patina. This is overlaid with natural scenes, and as a throwback to the centuries old traditional Japanese screen painting, she may also employ gold pigment. In Mansour’s panels, just as in the traditional folding screens, the gold not only serves as a decorative function, but adds a rich & sensuous appearance that tends to elevate the subject — the trees, fruit, leaves, birds — to something revered, sacred and even mystical.