Distilled Life

February 18, 2014 § 10 Comments

“When you pick up one piece of dust, the entire world comes with it.”  -Zen saying

A selection of still-life paintings, mostly contemporary.

“There are four elements that ultimately determine quality and meaning in painting. One, the color you choose and how much. Two, where you put it; three, in what manner. The fourth is outside you, and that is life.”  -Larry Rivers.

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George Nick at NAGA Gallery, Boston

November 28, 2011 § 3 Comments

From the website of NAGA Gallery:

GEORGE NICK

The World is Flat (Until You Paint It)

November 12 – December 17, 2011

Gallery NAGA concludes 2011 with an exhibition of euphoric paintings by George Nick accompanied by a catalog with an essay by Philip Pearlstein.

George Nick: The World is Flat (Until You Paint It) runs from November 12 through December 17. A reception for the artist and the public will be held at the gallery on Friday, November 11 from 6 to 8 pm.

This spring, summer, and fall, George Nick could be found painting on the sidewalk in Boston’s Back Bay. A passersby could stand in front of the easel and try to imagine just what it was that Nick was looking at. Where was he seeing these colors that were ending up on the canvas? How was he putting together strokes that we knew would inevitably make sense?

And then, George came up with the title for the show: The World is Flat (Until You Paint It). Suddenly, it became clear: Nick doesn’t look at subject matter the same way most of us would. He brings every life experience and all his years of painting experience to the easel.

In writing about his paintings, Nick expressed how he sees the world.

“We really see too much, so the mind has simplified our seeing. This knowledge is both personal and technical. We know a lot and we use that information unconsciously to make our way in the world. We have an immense amount of stored knowledge that involves personal history and technical knowledge capable of a high degree of analytical powers. In painting I try to find different ways to accomplish that.”

Each brushstroke laid on the canvas is the result of looking, then looking, then looking some more. And just when George thinks he has completed a particular area, the sun moves and it looks different. This doesn’t bother him because it’s not his intention to depict what “exists.” His paintings are, instead, recordings of a particular time and place that occurs for a moment, then changes as a result of shifting light. What we see in his paintings are lots of mini-recordings sharing a single canvas that our eyes are able to unify and make sense of.

Philip Pearlstein, in his essay for the catalog, writes that George’s “. . . exuberant brushwork doesn’t allow him to suggest nostalgia for the passing of time.” Pearlstein, a former teacher, long -time friend and confidante, has watched George battle and find his way to the top of a long list of American painters. Now, at age 84, George Nick has arrived.

Through December 11, a retrospective of Nick’s work will be on view at Rider University in Lawrenceville NJ in an exhibition titled, The Upside Down Wind.

Some Contemporary Landscape Paintings

August 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

In memory of the summer just past, a selection of some of the great landscape painting being done today.

Ben Aaronson

Stuart Shils

Ryan Smith

Prilla Brackett

Chelsea James

Lois Dodd

George Nick

Philip Koch

John Virtue

Alex Kanevsky

Elizabeth O’Reilly

Israel Hershberg

Langdon Quinn

Antonio Lopez

Rackstraw Downes

Neil Riley

John Dubrow

Priscilla Whitlock

Phillip Geiger

Click the link to see the entire Contemporary Landscapes album.

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