My work is inspired by landscape narratives: weathered surfaces, natural ephemera.
Shell hunting, late mornings on the beach. Trudging into the wet, heavy sand, I can only run a few steps before I’m mesmerized by rainbows in the sheeny edge of the water’s retreat back into foam. I savor the flicker of light out on the wave peaks, penetrating the blues and the greens like swords thrust into the side of the sea. I have the rhythm of them now, at last! Hold on to that, close my eyes to all the rest until I’m in my studio again.
Here is the ruby of the sun caught in a net of my red hair, glittering with some little wind as I crunch through fragrant leaves, my little dog trotting ahead, my back still stiff after rooting through the garden to find room enough for more tulip bulbs. At night, as the cold remembers us, the black Spanish lace branches weave and sway and creak. Are they flirting with me or are they trapping the creamy moon? What will I call it as I stand back from my painting? Softly, softly, white crystal feathers fall as the late geese complain above the woods. Say goodbye under the new snow, subsiding into a rusty haze; the fields are a spotted hooker’s green, the hills are indigo, no, caput mortuum, no, some color that continues to escape my paints, but I’ll try again and again.
When the bitter sharp gold of fresh willow leaves announce the new year, I search for all the first buds. Will pellets of hail shatter the fat ambitions of this spring’s hostas? Turn the sultry pink velvet of magnolias to brown rot? Will it rain hard, thunderously? Dash down the daring flirtation of cherry blossoms? Will someone, somewhere be hiding in the filthy lea of a ruined cement wall or will they stand up, red mouth laughing, strip their clothes off, whoop and spin in this downpour? Will I see it all from my studio window? Will I be them before I come home?
I took my first art classes as a child at the Dayton Art institute, and later at The Art Students League, a BA in painting, sculpture and art history from Yale, and an MFA in sculpture from Illinois State University. I have had solo and group shows in a variety of venues over the years. My work has been welcomed into private collections around the world and into public spaces around the US. I have won several national awards and been reviewed in national magazines twice: Flash Art and Sculpture magazine. I enjoy the medium of encaustics, and I love to teach art making. Art Now! Episode #62 , a video visit to my studio by John Morrison, is available on YouTube.
Visit me in my Lincoln Building studio or at cnordholm.com.