Land Vibes | Nancy Newton

September 10 – 21, 2014

Natural environments evolve over time into multilayered arrangements of vegetation, rocks, water and air within a three dimensional space. Capturing both the visual and sonic energy of nature on a two dimensional surface is the inspiration for this body of work.

Similar to nature’s growth cycle and the process of composing individual strands of a musical melody, paintings evolve step by step, over time. Ideas from spontaneous ink drawings, within a “sound filled” studio space, unfold and vary in complexity. Layered coloured washes initially create a visual mood picture. Similar to auditory tones, gestures overlap and interact with collaged paper to create, in musical terms, an active texture. In varying degrees, it is a process of constructing and deconstructing, observing, readjusting and over painting guided by intuition. Visual rhythms and harmonies in nature are
simplified, abstracted and remixed into a fresh notion of pictorial space. Studying and interpreting the environmental music of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer’s compositions such as “Moments of Water” and “Epitaph for Moonlight” reinforced the possibilities of visually representing sound. The musical qualities in the work of Kandinsky and Arshile Gorky, as well as the “outer world” drawings of Julie Mehretu continue to influence and inform my work. For urban dwellers today, experiencing the natural world competes with the convenience of physical hard surfaces and technology. Traditionally, the randomness and beauty of nature has been a balm for the soul. These drawings and paintings reconnect the viewer to the mystery, beauty and power of nature.

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