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.