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Monday, August 23, 2010

Nautical Impressionism- North Carolina Artist Sandy Nelson Brings marine Paintings to Life at Skipjack

"Summerwind" by Sandy Nelson, oil on canvas measuring 24 X 36 inches. "In mid-summer, the winds beckon sailors to sail the marshes and intracoastal waters. A lazy afternoon is all that's needed to beckon participants out onto the water of the intracoastals.

My influences are as diverse as the great Spanish, Russian and French impressionists to a childhood amid the dark hills of eastern Kentucky. In the latter I found a sincere appreciation for the beauty of the world around me, in the former, inspiration to express it. My work is not edgy nor avant-garde; it doesn’t follow fads or trends – it is simply truth, as I perceive it. That is what I hope the viewer takes away with them.

"Evening Sail" by Sandy nelson, oil on canvas measuring 24 X30 inches " A long day sailing invites the sailors to come home late, taking to port just at dusk. A good meal, a glass of wine are all that's needed at the end of the day of working the sails. Tomorrow is another day of taking the wind."
 The subjects of my painting may be a cloud, a boat, a figure or bowl of fruit – one is as monumental as another. The paintings are memories of a moment in time, a representation of my emotions and ideas, which is transferred to the viewer. In my studio I live with these words, which remind me that it is truly a gift to be an artist.
"Coming Home" by Sandy Snyder, oil on canvas measuring 24 X 30 inches. " The working boats along the coast are a different layer to the sailing tradition. There is a time of day, where the evening sky meets the water, and there is almost no separation. In this painting, a small glimpse of a distant shore is the only thing between the sky and the water, Against this color and reflected color, the lone fishing boat comes home."
 "I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting and the message of art that has made these hands blessed: Amen. Amen." George Bernard Shaw

 These works were created in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, Sandy's home away from home and in the coastal area of Wilmington and the Cape Fear which stretches along the coast to South Carolina.

Sandy Nelson has been a professional artist for many years. She studied Fine Art and painting at the University of KY and the Scottsdale Art School. Her portraits and landscapes have been accepted to national juried competitions from Maine to California, many winning national awards. Her work is included in over 60 corporate and museum collections including those of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart and George Steinbrenner, owner of the NY Yankees. She was named one of the top 200 artists by the Artists Magazine and has been profiled in “The Rotarian” an international publication. One of Nelson's portraits was the cover of “Bench & Bar” magazine in 2007 and one of her marsh landscapes graced the cover of “Carolina Art” magazine in 2008.
She maintains her studio in Leland, NC but travels extensively to paint. She is a member of ASOPA, the New Mexico Pastel Society, Pastel Society of the Southwest, Midwest Pastel Society and Women Artists of the West.
Click here to visit Sandy Nelson's artist page at Skipjack's web gallery or stop by and view her exceptional marine paintings in our Olde Towne Portsmouth gallery.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

American Folk Art- A Coastal Homeowner's Nautical Inspired Collection

Nautical inspired folk art with a country flair.
Throughout the years, we have had the great fortune at Skipjack Nautical Wares and Marine Gallery to meet some really fine people who have become customers and also good friends. Some share our passion in collecting and are "ready at the helm" when great new objects are found. These collectors share the same compassion for great nautical-themed folk art as I do and we are equally as pleased to see these exceptional items find a place in such a wanting home. Our friends are kind enough to now share some of  their favorite discoveries with you. Enjoy!

(Top Picture)  A carved and painted contemporary "sailors Valentine"  was created by Jac & Patricia Johnson, two of my favorite folk artists working today. Their work is simply wonderful. The double heart-shaped valentine with carved lace edge features a hollowed out center with angels and painted verse with country and marine designs. As the poem reads "I hold you in my heart for god hath placed you there; I hold you there my darling for I know you truly care. You have been so very faithful through each passing year. I love you more than ever, In my heart I hold you dear." You can only imagine such verse written and given to a loved one from a saddened sailor before heading out to sea for an undetermined length of time...maybe forever!
Placed below the sailors valentine is a vintage ships in a bottle featuring a pair of  racing schooners. This fine work of art even had  sailors up in the masts! To the right is one of my all time favorite items, a lamp made with an antique birdhouse modeled after a famous New England lighthouse and mounted onto a thick piece of old driftwood pine. These pieces are displayed upon the owners 19th century paint-decorated blanket chest.

This whaling diorama that is displayed above a blue plaid sofa in the family room was also created by Jac and Patricia Johnson. It features a carved "harpooned" white whale and whalers skiff applied to a painted board with sailing ship in background and a sailors account to the event written across the total art piece.

The simple rounded and stylized contours of this primitive whale perched upon the top of an oak armoire convey an impertinent energy. This handcrafted weathervane was created by New Jersey folk artist Steve Hazlett from a single 100+year old heart pine board salvaged from a barn located in Bath, NY. Antique copper flashing was applied to the tail and outer edge of whale. Blue and gray buttermilk paint was applied in numerous layers to give the piece a dry and crusty as-found appearance.

 An antique New England schooner weathervane stands sentinel by the living room fireplace. The weathervane was created with a painted wooden hull and tin sails. She is still attached to it's original metal roof mounting base.

Visit these other Skipjack's Nautical Living articles featuring American folk art: