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Wisdom of God   Anne Wetzel, Curator    presented June 20, 2006



The Loaves and the Fishes

by Nicole Maynard
(Painting, 2005, 36" x 24")
St. Luke's Episcopal Church - Brockport, NY


Color is important in capturing the viewer’s gaze. I use it to create atmosphere, substance, emotional and psychological states and to give a life-like vibrancy to an artwork. By “life-like” I do not mean as one would see the subject in real life. Painted worlds have their own logic, but are capable of giving a feeling poignancy about life that pierces through the mundane to awaken the viewer. The paintings are done in an expressionistic manner. The reason for this is that I did not want to make images that are glossy, smooth, too easy on they eye. The marks, lines and open forms are made to be visceral. They act as a “wake-up call” to remind the viewer that he/she is not taking in a view that is far away, out the window. Rather, the images assert their physicality in order to propel themselves off their surface and into the physical space of the viewer. People and places depicted become tangible and real, as the pictures seem to connect to the body and organic material. The figures are rough and sometimes open, not fully painted or “filled in”. Often the background color of the surrounding space is visible through the figures. This is a metaphor of the impermanence of the body and its role as a shell for the soul. Seeing land or sky through the body is a reminder that the body is of the earth and the soul is of the sky or heavens. Thus what seems so concrete is transitory, ephemeral and temporal. What looks at first glance like a sloppy painting job by the artist is really key to the meaning of the image.
At a recent solo exhibition at the Bowery Gallery in New York City, I was pleased by the response visitor’s wrote in the gallery’s notebook. “Stunning” and “moving” were the two words that reoccurred to summarize their impression. “Stunning” connotes stopping still as an image takes over one’s gaze. “Moving” is associated with being touched emotionally, as well as a change in state of mind after an experience.
Painting is my way of pausing to contemplate the significance of Jesus, God's love for us, and the Holy Spirit at work in our lives. I hope the paintings similarly involve the viewer emotionally, spiritually, and with one’s senses, as well as to allow the joyful experience of the art form at the same time. Making these things requires that I use my skills to give form to what is bigger than myself. Regardless of subject matter, I believe my art is a manifestation of my desire to grow as a human being in God's light.


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2006 The Episcopal Church and Visual Art