Leslie M. Nolan
Look Before You Leap
Very happy to report this artwork found a permanent home during the opening night party at the (e)merge art fair in Washington, DC. Thanks to the Washington Project for the Arts, which asked for small artwork to display, and to its commitment in actively promoting its artists and serving as a catalyst for contemporary art.
For the past few years, I've been exploring the vulnerability of ordinary people in my artwork. These artworks focus on emotions and moods involving loss, regret, confusion, resilience, and recovery. I try to show individuals as they feel, not as they appear.
I hope my artwork is arresting, not pretty.
Because the work leans heavily on color to describe a full spectrum of emotion, bright oranges, pinks and blues contrast with facial expressions which might proclaim a more somber mood. And, I find that color lends a potent effect to the subjects' internal dialog. Scale is also important in my compositions. Close ups of heads and faces that go off the canvas or paper draw the viewer uncomfortably into a life portrait. This scale creates a tension that I like. I think it makes the work interesting.
For this painting a feeling prevails as though something important has happened. The subject could be from any country and any socio-economic class. He could be reacting to money or job-related issues, loneliness, a semi-stable environment, or familial concerns. I invented his face, and the last minute addition of red across the eyes immediately ups the mystery quotient. For a small piece, it packs a punch.