Nancy Natow-Cassidy’s paintings live in the space between abstraction and impressionism, exploring color and shape as energy and vibration. The past year of isolation has afforded her an extraordinary measure of time to study the reflections and emanations of light on water and land, and the twisting and open shapes of forests, dunes, deserts and flowers. These mostly large-scale works were created by alternately being still for hours, observing, and by the flow of moving in the landscape, gathering that energy and dancing it back onto the canvas.
DESERT RADIANCE, painted on sabbatical in Joshua Tree, California in March 2020, in the weeks before Covid shut everything down, captures the pure energy of the rock formations and sky above the desert floor. Natow-Cassidy bouldered, hiked and painted in California for three weeks where she set up a temporary studio for one week, then spent two weeks sleeping in the back of a pickup truck under the stars, painting amidst the rocks of the National Park. This was a seminal experience that set off the next year of art making in isolation. The incredible sweeping desert landscape inspired her to create large and expansive paintings.
Exploring the sensuality of the pinks and oranges reflected at sunset in the wetlands, CALM manifests the peace felt watching and absorbing the slow progression of sunset and afterglow. Natow-Cassidy describes this experience as being vital to her remaining grounded and staying sane during this last year of lockdown, and highlights the importance of public natural spaces. She says, “ Parks, lakes wetlands, prairies are all crucial to connecting to that part of ourselves often dampened by the rush of technology and society, especially in a discordant world. In connecting to our deepest selves through nature, we can better connect to each other. This is why clean air, clean water and fixing climate change is so important ~ our health, both physical and emotional, and humanity, is at stake.”
Standing in front of REFLECTIONS, 112” x 64,” one is physically transported to a pond with a slight breeze on the water, creating ripples of reflections of grasses, trees and light.
Color and Energy abound, yet the triptych FOREST, created with homemade charcoal and watercolor, is a quiet meditation on oak trees.
The Covid-safe opening reception is Friday, June 11 from 5-8 pm and the exhibit is also viewable during regular business hours 9:30-5 Monday-Friday and 10-4 Saturdays.
Masks are required at all times. We’ll be gathering outside for the opening reception and social distancing will be observed. Exhibition visitors will be limited to 4 people at a time. Thank you for keeping us all healthy.
For more information please contact the Ellen Firme Gallery at 219-874-4003.