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.

 

 

 

 

Rafe and Joao

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Rafe 30″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas by Washington DC-artist Leslie Nolan

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Joao 30″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas by Leslie Nolan, Washington DC

During our cold snap here in Washington, DC over the holidays between visits and dinners and Santa I was able to get in some studio time to do these handsome young men.

Each has style and attitude.  Going for a hip, cool urban vibe, I tried to imbue the subjects with relaxed confidence.  These would be perfect for any home or office setting that needs refreshening.  Happy 2018!

Preparing for Solo at Athenaeum

IMG_20170429_111308082These two new paintings will be featured in my upcoming August 2017 solo exhibition – Seduction – at the Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Athenaeum Gallery.

Both pieces, 36″x60″ acrylic on canvas, feature a man with great dignity and power, yet the images are infused with color and an other-worldly feeling.  Ambiguity, uncertainty, perhaps fleeting glimpses of reality infuse these abstracted visuals of modern life.

 

Making New Artwork

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Studio of Washington, DC Artist Leslie Nolan’

In anticipation of the upcoming solo exhibit August 10 through September 17 at the Athenaeum in Old Town Alexandria,VA, working on some new paintings. So far, they’re all about the drip. Is there such a thing as too much? Perhaps, in fact, probably. But, my plan is to push the limits. Many thanks to Gallery Director/curator Twig Murray and the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association for the sponsorship.

Athenaeum
201 Prince Street
Alexandria, Virginia

Opening – August 13 Sunday 4-6 pm
Gallery Talk – September 10 2pm with special guest Dr Erich Keel (former head of Education at the Kreeger Museum)

SPECTRUM Miami 2016

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Washington, DC Artist Leslie M. Nolan at SPECTRUM Miami Art Show with Gallery NK

By all accounts the SPECTRUM  Miami Art Show this year was a great success for Gallery NK.  Lots of interest, buyers and commentary by the many patrons/collectors who throng to Art Basel Miami Beach and its 20 satellite fairs during this special week.  The Gallery staff did a great job hanging my wall – it looked amazing.  It’s great to have a professional team taking care of everything.

 

Spectrum Miami with Gallery NK

After my photographer Jeff Burton made images, these and other recent paintings were wrapped for shipment and taken to Washington, DC’s Gallery NK for the long transport to Florida for Miami Art Week and the SPECTRUM Art Show. Opening tonight this fantastic week coincides with Art Basel Miami Beach and includes activities at 20 satellite art fairs in addition to the giant Art Basel itself.

Gallery NK features international contemporary Fine Art and this year occupies Booth 519 at SPECTRUM.  Located at 700 NE 2nd Avenue in the heart of the arts & entertainment district, SPECTRUM Miami is open from November 30 to December 4.  Stop by and meet Gallery NK’s owner, Nihal Kececi, and the other wonderful artists who she is featuring in her booth this year.