Thistledown Studio : Nan Wilson : Rochester, NY

Artist's Statement

It has been said of my work that it has a surreal quality. To me that means opening up new dimensions. I'm portraying natural history in a representational style, but looking to offer new perspectives.

Work doesn't begin on a piece until all the elements for fine art have been addressed. The actual process takes often seasons and years before the research has matured, and the photographing and study of a particular subject are complete. Then I begin to imagine the concept and layout – always begun in the abstract.

I often create an ambiguous background suggestive of the outdoors and the environment, keeping in mind the objects to be placed within it. A juggling act follows in which the two objectives of "fine art" and "natural history" come together. This is the stage at which some aspects of the images become representational. In each work, I try to create situations that leave you to your own interpretation and discoveries. I hope my paintings fill each viewer with a sense of the Earth, its diversity and need for protection.

I appreciate the insightful things people have said about my work. A retired professor of philosophy in art and nature asked whether, when I paint, I feel I am in touch with the spirits. Well, not exactly. But I do hope that in my paintings I pass along the awe I feel when standing in the presence of such extraordinary plants, creatures and scenes.

A nature writer said "It's not just nature art…it's art!" I like that.

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Upstate, New York

Adirondack Mountains