After 199

2017, oil on panel, 48x80

In a recent issue of Modern Painters magazine, Merlin James wrote of the Welsh painter, Thomas Jones, as  ‘.. actively apprehending the world by depicting it; not just describing the world as one sees it, but seeing it as one describes it.’ I am interested in the idea of the Picture as a framework for seeing—seeing the world through the simple aesthetic language (as pure color, shape, texture, line, scale, etc. across a plane) as a means to extract and embrace the poetry of our surroundings. A copy of nature seems redundant, so intentionally zeroing-in on these abstract pictorial properties gives me a wonderful tool to focus my observation—and thus hopefully gain a more concentrated perception of the subject. The Picture aids me in understanding my surroundings as it offers a path to observe and contemplate and reckon with the world. The attempt with this work is to bring into equilibrium the shared visual language of the material painting and the natural subject depicted in the paint. Ideally, these paintings acknowledge the observed world, and share a unique and moving experience of it with others.

Carlton Nell is Professor of Graphic Design at Auburn’s School of Industrial and Graphic Design.

Related people:
Carlton Nell