Getting Ready for Hill Center Solo Exhibit

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Karl, 30″x24″ acrylic on canvas, is one of 17 artworks that form Flip-Side, my upcoming solo exhibit at Hill Center Gallery on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.  Many thanks to Gallery Director Nicky Cymrot for the opportunity.

These abstracted figure paintings continue a theme I’ve been developing over the past several years – that is, depicting what is felt rather than what is seen.  Featuring ordinary people in states of vulnerability, confusion or courage, the paintings focus on moods as interpreted by facial and body language, vibrant color and bold brushwork.  There exists a public side that we present to the world, and a private flip-side that reflects doubt and turmoil. Loss of control frequently pervades, as though the subject has been taken outside his or her comfort zone.  Sounds like a modern, topical theme for today’s life, doesn’t it?

Flip-Side

On Exhibit May 3 – June 23, 2018

Opening Reception Wednesday, May 9, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Hill Center Gallery at the Old Naval Hospital

921 Pennsylvania Avenue NE, Washington DC

http://www.HillCenterDC.orginfo@hillcenterdc.org — 202.549.4172

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)