Last Week of Flip Side

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Washington DC Artist Leslie Nolan in the Studio

Flip Side, my solo exhibit at Hill Center Gallery in the Old Naval Hospital, is on display through June 23.

Location:  921 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington DC.  http://www.hillcenterdc.org

Solo Exhibit at Hill Center

img_20180511_112854403Some images from my 17-painting solo exhibit Flip-Side at Hill Center Galleries. The show is up through June 23. http://www.hillcenter.orgimg_20180511_113003940_burst000_cover_top

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

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.