Undaunted

Acrylic, ink, water soluble crayon on tiles mounted on cradled birch panel (2021)

Size: w 16″ x h 12″ x d 2″

Just finished this piece for inclusion in a show of the same name, the annual OKWA (Organization of Kingston Women Artists) exhibit at the Window Gallery in Kingston, Canada for the month of October.

For a year and a half a herd of elephants has been migrating across southwest China, covering hundreds of miles – sometimes wandering through neighbourhoods or crossing city thoroughfares cleared of traffic by police monitoring their progress.  No-one knows why they left the Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in March 2020, but diminishing habitat would have been a factor.  Perhaps then they got lost and just kept going.  Only now are they almost home again.

The mystery of the venture combined with the roaming herd’s determination and stamina has fascinated people around the world these many long pandemic months.  We have been captivated by the soulful, at times playful, creatures and taken inspiration from their quest.  In the words of a young man hired to deliver corn and pineapples to the always hungry elephants, “it almost felt as if there was a holy aura around them.”

Holding My Broken Heart Aloft

Graphite, conte, water soluble crayon on paper (1990)

Size: w 13″ x h 25″

I continue to expand and update my main website, where the range of my work can be seen under the Galleries tab : https://npaulvisualart.com

Nereids Reach the Deep Sea Floor (Detail)

OKWA: Why Paint? at Art Noise Gallery is now open. It can be viewed in person (yay!) as well as virtually at https://shop.artnoise.ca/pages/in-the-gallery

Nereids Reach the Deep Sea Floor

Acrylic, ink, crayon, mesh netting on canvas (2021)

Size: w 16″ x h 10″ x d 1.75″

Why Paint? That is the question asked of members of the Organization of Kingston Women Artists. Those in the group who choose paint as their medium have responded and their work will be exhibited in a show at Art Noise Gallery, Kingston, Canada (https://www.artnoise.ca/gallery.html) from 24 June to 07 August 2021. My contributions to this show include this piece as well as Nereids in the Garden of Hippocampus (https://npaulartworks.com/2021/01/13/nereids-in-the-garden-of-hippocampus/).

Nereids Reach the Deep Sea Floor started with an impulse to play – with pigment, mediums, collage – with paint. Over time and iterations I came to understand at last where it was going and brought in the Nereids and their friends: the luminescent, fanged creatures of the dark mountainous world that is the bottom of the ocean. Monstrous in appearance to us, it is they who are under threat, endangered because of the commercial fishery practice of bottom trawling. (Present here: Dragonfish (x2), anomuran, coelacanth, hatchet fish, fangtooth (x2), anglerfish, viperfish (x2), predatory tunicate, frilled shark, gulper eel (x2), tube-eye.)

Thinking It Over

Acrylic, graphite, water soluble crayon on paper mounted on birch panel (2019/2021)

Size: w 11.5″ x h 18.5″ x d 0.5″

This piece and three others will be in a group show at the Window Gallery in Kingston for the month of March. In person viewing will be possible; a virtual exhibit is also planned. http://www.windowartgallerykingston.com/

Nereids in the Garden of Hippocampus

Acrylic and ink on canvas (2021)

Size: w 16″ x h 10″ x d 1.75″

Inspired by, and dedicated to, SJ by her AN.

Hippocampus: part of the brain associated with memory, thought to resemble a seahorse.

The starting point for this painting was an image of the hippocampus obtained by means of antibody staining by Thomas Deerinck and Mark Ellisman (2004), reproduced in Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century. My sea dragon (barely discernible, certainly not recognizable, in any case upside down) inhabits an underwater garden of memory, dream and desire.

Ram and Unicorn

Size: w 18″ x h 23.5″

Acrylic on paper (? 1992)

This painting is of two small earthenware creatures (A.D. 9-23) excavated in 1978 from a tomb in Shaanxi Province, China. Because of their poses, they are assumed to be guardians to protect the deceased from demons; to me they appear to be mourning the death. Between them I imagine a bright ribbon, the passing show that is life.

An inkjet print of this painting, mounted on birch panel and hand-finished with acrylic, is currently on display to the end of the month at the Art Noise Gallery in Kingston as part of the annual Show of Smalls (https://www.artnoise.ca/store/c22/NANCY_PAUL.html).