2/06/2014

Nancy Clearwater Herman

Pennsylvania artist Nancy Herman comes up with some amazingly original ideas for her paintings, always expressed with a sense of meditative calm. The Northeast has had many snowstorms this winter, and Nancy has taken full artistic advantage with a wonderful series of snowscapes, including a memorable one that includes a single crisp leaf of chard.

Here are Nancy Herman's two favorite paintings of 2013, and her description of an interesting project she's been involved in:

Dream: Towards the Light  oil on canvas board   6” x 8”  2013

DREAM: The Bridge  oil on canvas board  6” x 8”  2013
The two images that stand out for me are from a series I made towards the end of the year titled “THE DREAM”.  I really enjoyed making the series- so much so that I made a video of it using some music by Debussy which I overlapped to enhance the dream feeling. 
I had so much fun with that, and I noticed a competition for short films based on a classic movie and decided to try my hand at it.  Out of the list of classic films presented for the competition I selected The Bicycle Thieves.  I had about 45 days to make the film and I don’t have a movie camera so I chose to use photos altered in Photoshop of my Brooklyn family.  I thought a silent movie best captured the feeling of The Bicycle Thieves, and I wanted to make a film that had some of the combination of comedy and pathos of silent films.  In The Bicycle Thieves, the story revolves around a father and son and their struggle to find his stolen bike.  I wanted to make a film that revolved around the innocence of a child but one that had a happy ending - which the Bicycle Thieves certainly does not. 
After I finished the movie I mentioned to an old friend of mine in Virginia City, Nevada, Squeek Steele, who plays old time piano, that I made a silent movie, and she offered to play music for it.  I put the movie on YouTube with no sound, and she played the piano while watching the film and recorded it in one go, just like in the old days.  The music really makes the film and the whole thing was a great hoot, from getting my children and grandchildren to pose for their parts, to figuring out how to use the latest version of iMovie. 
As a result of all this experimenting I am taking a course in film making at my local public TV station WHYY. 
Here are links to the two movies: THE DREAM  and THE RED BIKE.
You can see more of Nancy Herman's work at her blog and her website, and be sure to check out her post from last year of her two favorite paintings of 2012.

The current theme is Artists Who Blog- Favorites of 2013. Chosen artists have sent in one or two of their favorite paintings from 2013, along with some words about the creation of the work, or about general new directions and goals. There will be a fresh post each day for twenty five days, so check back often.

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