Artist Statement

I am a city person, born and bred, but my view of the world extends far beyond my native urban landscape.

I work with charcoal, paint, pastel and a camera to create images of places and people that I am inspired to record.  Journeys to Africa, Italy, France, and Spain, as well as places closer to home like the American Southwest or the Berkshire foothills, with their big skies and deep horizon lines, have inspired an ongoing panoramic landscape project.  These are the sorts of vistas that, for me, compliment and enhance the view from urban windows.

Landscape is a form of portraiture; of local topography, geology, and geography as well as roads, fences, and cultivated fields. My portraits of locations led to portraits of people, representations of a moment in the subject's life, the geology of an emotion, geography of a countenance, the structure of a piece of jewelry, a hat, a collar. I draw with chunky black charcoal and delicate pastels; the process captivates me, watching as faces emerge from the raw materials of compressed dust and gum Arabic and the energy of my hand and arm, filling a blank two-dimensional space.

Drawing and painting allow me to open a window on a moment, to hint at a story.  I hope the viewer feels invited into the picture, either to sense the temperature and time of day in a landscape or to engage with the subject in the portrait.  The work is intended to be welcoming and informal.

I recently had occasion to visit the installation of a large Provencal landscape that I was commissioned to paint a number of years ago. I was exhilarated to see it in situ, lavender fields in bright Mediterranean sunlight against the backdrop of the view from the 49th floor overlooking midtown Manhattan.  Everyone I encountered at the firm volunteered information – that it elicited more compliments than anything else in an art-filled suite of offices, and that the CEO regularly came to look at it.  One woman said, “I just look at that place and feel the sun and smell the lavender – I really just want to be there!” An unsolicited affirmation of the success of my intent, what more could I ask for?

   I welcome commissions!      Cushla Naegele NYC Spring 2013        info@CushlaNaegeleStudio.com

Materials & Process

Landscapes are a window to the outside, to a place you might like to be. They represent a particular time of day, the ambient temperature, the feel and scent of a place.   My hand is evident in the application of pastel, charcoal and pencil, providing an energetic and active quality to the work. It is my goal that the viewer imagines the hum of the bees and other insects, feels the softness of petals and roughness of bark, and has the sensation of being in that place in the particular moment depicted.

My art practice revolves around creating original, singular landscapes, still life and portraits on paper, wood and linen. Paintings and drawings are created using the finest quality oil and acrylic paints, pastel, charcoal, and graphite are the primary materials used.   Works on paper are an economical alternative to painted works on panels, and have a big impact alone or grouped together on a wall. Surprisingly affordable, each piece is unique, hand crafted, and available framed or unframed. 

 




Charcoal & Pastel

Charcoal is the simplest and most elemental medium. A charred twig, lump or stick of vine charcoal feels most like an extension of my hand. The depth of black acheived by a soft piece of compressed charcoal is sublime; smudging and erasing into that black creates yet more volume. While I love paint for its myriad color combinations and choices, this multiplicity can itself present a roadblock, the hundreds of bristles in a brush agents of distance between my hand and the image I'm making. In general, with my portraits, I try to capture the subject in mid sentence or movement. The type of paper is as important as its size. If the paper hasn't got enough tooth or fiber to hold the pastel or charcoal mark, or I feel it is too soft or unyielding, I prime it with a gritty gesso. This allows greater flexiblility with the medium - I can smudge, erase and dig into it without the paper disintegrating in response.

Two of these were recently purchased by the United Way of NYC for their new corporate headquarters! 



Art Educator

I work privately as well as with the non-profit organization Studio In A School, in NYC, as a teaching artist. We work with school age children throughout the city, bringing abroad range of skills, enthusiasm and cultural enrichment to public school students.

 

BLOG SECTIONS

Statement, Materials, Process, Teaching

Artist Statement

I am a city person, born and bred, but my view of the world extends far beyond my native urban landscape.

I work with charcoal, paint, pastel and a camera to create images of places and people that I am inspired to record.  Journeys to Africa, Italy, France, and Spain, as well as places closer to home like the American Southwest or the Berkshire foothills, with their big skies and deep horizon lines, have inspired an ongoing panoramic landscape project.  These are the sorts of vistas that, for me, compliment and enhance the view from urban windows.

Landscape is a form of portraiture; of local topography, geology, and geography as well as roads, fences, and cultivated fields. My portraits of locations led to portraits of people, representations of a moment in the subject's life, the geology of an emotion, geography of a countenance, the structure of a piece of jewelry, a hat, a collar. I draw with chunky black charcoal and delicate pastels; the process captivates me, watching as faces emerge from the raw materials of compressed dust and gum Arabic and the energy of my hand and arm, filling a blank two-dimensional space.

Drawing and painting allow me to open a window on a moment, to hint at a story.  I hope the viewer feels invited into the picture, either to sense the temperature and time of day in a landscape or to engage with the subject in the portrait.  The work is intended to be welcoming and informal.

I recently had occasion to visit the installation of a large Provencal landscape that I was commissioned to paint a number of years ago. I was exhilarated to see it in situ, lavender fields in bright Mediterranean sunlight against the backdrop of the view from the 49th floor overlooking midtown Manhattan.  Everyone I encountered at the firm volunteered information – that it elicited more compliments than anything else in an art-filled suite of offices, and that the CEO regularly came to look at it.  One woman said, “I just look at that place and feel the sun and smell the lavender – I really just want to be there!” An unsolicited affirmation of the success of my intent, what more could I ask for?

   I welcome commissions!      Cushla Naegele NYC Spring 2013        info@CushlaNaegeleStudio.com

Materials & Process

Landscapes are a window to the outside, to a place you might like to be. They represent a particular time of day, the ambient temperature, the feel and scent of a place.   My hand is evident in the application of pastel, charcoal and pencil, providing an energetic and active quality to the work. It is my goal that the viewer imagines the hum of the bees and other insects, feels the softness of petals and roughness of bark, and has the sensation of being in that place in the particular moment depicted.

My art practice revolves around creating original, singular landscapes, still life and portraits on paper, wood and linen. Paintings and drawings are created using the finest quality oil and acrylic paints, pastel, charcoal, and graphite are the primary materials used.   Works on paper are an economical alternative to painted works on panels, and have a big impact alone or grouped together on a wall. Surprisingly affordable, each piece is unique, hand crafted, and available framed or unframed. 

 




Charcoal & Pastel

Charcoal is the simplest and most elemental medium. A charred twig, lump or stick of vine charcoal feels most like an extension of my hand. The depth of black acheived by a soft piece of compressed charcoal is sublime; smudging and erasing into that black creates yet more volume. While I love paint for its myriad color combinations and choices, this multiplicity can itself present a roadblock, the hundreds of bristles in a brush agents of distance between my hand and the image I'm making. In general, with my portraits, I try to capture the subject in mid sentence or movement. The type of paper is as important as its size. If the paper hasn't got enough tooth or fiber to hold the pastel or charcoal mark, or I feel it is too soft or unyielding, I prime it with a gritty gesso. This allows greater flexiblility with the medium - I can smudge, erase and dig into it without the paper disintegrating in response.

Two of these were recently purchased by the United Way of NYC for their new corporate headquarters! 



Art Educator

I work privately as well as with the non-profit organization Studio In A School, in NYC, as a teaching artist. We work with school age children throughout the city, bringing abroad range of skills, enthusiasm and cultural enrichment to public school students.

 

BLOG SECTIONS