Artist Natalie George’s colorful abstract paintings capture the delicate beauty of nature. See more of her portfolio by visiting her website.
I was an only child and my mom cultivated my creative side. We would walk in the woods, act out scenarios with my stuffed animals, read storybooks and most significantly—paint and draw. She would get out the tempera paints and crayons frequently, which propelled my consistent efforts in the visual arts. Art became something I strongly identified with, and still do.
In college I majored in art, studied abroad in Italy, fell in love with realism in the genre of Renaissance painting, and was introduced to oil paint.
My first oil paintings were ambitious figures rife with symbolism. Having always been encouraged by my mom to express myself, I wanted to say something with my art!
Later, when I was married and had small children, time spent caring for them included some of the same creative pursuits my mom and I had enjoyed. With less painting time alone, I worked on small watercolor still lifes, which I sold in a local gallery. When the kids went to preschool, the oil paints came back out and I put work in more galleries. With more time to study and learn, I began to try traditional landscapes.
Then galleries began to close—it was the economic recession of 2008. The owners of the galleries I was still showing in asked if I ever did abstracts. At first, I laughed. As a rabid fan of the Renaissance masters, I thought they might as well have asked me to paint something in acrylics!
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Today I paint mostly abstracts, many in acrylic.
There is irony (and surprise) on this creative path! I still love traditional still lifes and landscapes, but I’m glad I gave the abstract style a chance.
In the past several years, I have found that making marks and painting loosely has freed up my process of painting, as well as the way I perceive and approach these favorite subjects. Instead of asking myself, “What does this subject look like, and how can I perfectly copy it?” I ask, “What do I want my painting of this subject to look like, and what am I saying about it?”
Color, light, pattern—the beauty of the natural world—all provoke my great desire for expression. In my art I like to emphasize the aspects of the subject that draw me to it—the pattern of a group of flowers, the glorious glare of sun on water, the interplay of branches and stems, a magnificent color that wants amplification.
In painting, I want to visually articulate my own awe of the beauty that exists in nature, hoping that my creative voice is perceived, and that my expression is complete as it reaches the viewer and beautifully resonates.
Artist Natalie George invites you to follow her on Instagram.
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