Glen

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Glen, 48 x 36 inches, acrylic on canvas by Washington DC artist Leslie M. Nolan

Starting from a pose by my husband, I placed the figure in the rectangle to best advantage.  The pose not only radiates strength, but also wistfulness, characteristic of young men coming into their own.  Wanting to convey yearning, youth and energy, my color selections and brushwork express excitement and vibrancy to achieve those goals.

I very much like the raw feel of the piece. Doing more would give it a polished, slick look — the exact opposite for a young man with his whole life in front of him!

LA Invitational

Excited to have Corrected Vision 5, far right, selected for the LA Invitational at George Billis Gallery LA. A great art city, Los Angeles celebrates contemporary art  with a ton of top notch galleries and first rate museums.  Kudos to gallery director Tressa Williams for organizing and curating this super show.IMG_20180729_170227_934

The Making of a Painting – Leon

 

An artwork starts with an idea – what to convey.  Since I strive for ambiguity, I think Leon (above) achieved that goal.

Then decisions about how best to convey that idea.  In my case, it comes down to paint on canvas, color choices, close up or full body image of the figure, placement in the rectangle, whether tools will be brush or palette knife, shiny or matte finish…

All decisions affect the outcome and feel of the artwork.  These choices – i.e., the process – become mere means to an end.  The critical issue remains, “What is the goal?”

I always start with a quick cartoon on blank canvas. Expanding on that, I then add background color on the figure to integrate the figure with its surroundings, and spend the rest of my efforts working on an overall unified piece that results in a stand-alone, wow image never seen before.  In between sessions there is time to dry.  But, I find that overworking can kill an artwork, so less is more.

 

Why I Paint Figures — Bob

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Washington DC artist Leslie Nolan’s “Bob” 18″x14″ acrylic on canvas

I spent 33 years doing national security work for the federal government, travelling and working abroad in unstable, sometimes unsafe locations.  These experiences continue to directly impact my figurative paintings.

As described by Associate Curator Erica Harrison, Greater Reston Arts Center, the figures “seem to be on the fringe of existence, evoking distant thoughts of fleeting memories or dreams.”  It’s inevitable that my life experiences would evoke a general vulnerability of humans, as well as a celebration of resilience and the will to survive.  I find that regardless of culture, education, ethnicity, and social status, people all over the world have the same needs and desires.  They want safety and security. They desire a better life for themselves and their children.  My artwork reflects this universal concern of modern life.

Place a human figure in an image and immediately the picture takes on relevance.  It becomes personal.  It suggests a narrative. It’s open to questions – who, what, where, why, when.  For me, evoking these feelings and questions transforms the image into a deeper exploration of what it means to be human.