Cindy Walton, Gaya, Nancy Reyner, Trixie Pitts, Mary Karlton, and Sandra Duran Wilson
Featured Artists Article
Banner image: Painting by Nancy Reyner.
Abstraction offers artists an unlimited and versatile supply of artistic tools and the women artists featured in this article use full range of the possibilities. They are members of the Manhattan Arts International Artist Showcase Gallery. They share their statements about abstract art and what their art means to them.
Unlike representational art, abstraction allows the artists to translate a range of experiences, ideas and emotions without having to replicate the same physical characteristics of any subject.
The artistic process offers the artists freedom of expression; however, it requires knowledge of the basic components of color, composition, form and movement, and more. Once it is presented to viewers, it is open for personal interpretation.
Banner image: Painting by Nancy Reyner
Please click on artists’ names to view their pages.
Sandra Duran Wilson lives in New Mexico and comes from a family of artists and scientists. She grew up in a world where everything was possible, where she would look through the microscope in her father’s office and then draw what she saw. She is continually exploring new surfaces, materials and techniques.
She states, “I paint frequencies. Sounds appear as colors, numbers sing songs and frequencies dance in my head, where it’s always an interesting place to live. Synesthesia is a crossing of the senses. My paintings and works on paper are a beautiful blending of colors, sounds, science, and nature.”
Her work is represented in galleries in the US and Australia and is found in corporate, civic and educational institutions and private collections globally.
She experiments, paints, writes and teaches and is the author of five art technique books, several DVDs. Her work has been featured in numerous books and magazines.
Cindy Walton has developed highly personalized techniques in oil and cold wax that translate and transform nature and iconography. As a result, her paintings are transformative interpretations rather than literal renderings.
Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries across the United States, including the Asheville Art Museum, various colleges and universities.
Lilly Wei, art critic for Art in America, and independenct curator, selected her art from her “Bridge of Dreams” series, for the Manhattan Arts International “Celebrate The Healing Power of Art” exhibition in 2014. The paintings from that series “are a conversation with God during the final days of a friend’s life. The visual conversation seen throughout these works as well as others became a renewal of my soul and a celebration of my walk through life.”
About her art she states, “I am enthralled with layering of oil and cold wax medium. I have over the years developed highly personal perceptions and highly personalized techniques. I seek to project authentic intimate interpretations of the world which I encounter.””
Mary Karlton is a California artist who creates highly textured acrylic paintings that combine pure abstraction with mystical overtones. She says her sources of inspiration are direct experience, the imagination, myth, and metaphor. She is inspired by Picasso, Miro, Klimt, Kandinsky, DeKoonig, Hockney, and Richter.
She explains, “Before I set down a brush stroke, I allow the imminent creation to gestate for a while. I give the painting time to come into being within me. Its essence is established before I even begin.”
“When I approach the canvas, it is with purpose and clarity, but also with flexibility and openness, so that the painting achieves its fullness in a way that befits its essence. Every painting must find its own way, its own distinct expression. At times, a painting waits for my guidance, and at times, it coaxes me into taking an unexpected path. I know a piece is complete when it brings a smile to my face, and I can step back and say, “This is good. This is true. This is beautiful. And, I love it.”
New York, award-winning artist Trixie Pitts creates large lyrical paintings in the style of abstract expressionism. She often combines the use of graphite with her oil painting to achieve definition and composition. Her paintings may suggest references to the natural world but they unleash a freedom of color, movement and spontaneity.
Like many abstract artists the innate power of intuition and automatism play major roles in her process. As she explains, she waits for the emerging painting to tell her where to go. “To me being an artist means striving for the state of not knowing. That’s where the magic happens!”
Pitts refers to Larry Poons, the acclaimed abstract painter, who served as her mentor at the Art Students League. “Larry said once something about how you should feel like you don’t know what you are doing, it means you are doing something new. That makes a lot of sense to me and I really try to follow that when I paint.”
Nancy Reyner creates luminous, otherworldly paintings that merge the literal and the metaphorical, hovering somewhere between pure abstraction and realistic landscape. The artist , who resides in Santa Fe, NM, uses nature as a guiding principle to create new worlds of exceptional depth and beauty.
Nancy Reyner is also the author of several books, DVDs, and presents sold-out workshops around the U.S., to share her unique techniques with others who want to emulate her bold, adventurous style.
Reyner states, “Earth, fire and water—elements of nature—are featured imagery in my work which form ‘energy fields’. Transparent layers of acrylic in unique ripple effects, highlighted by old Master glazing techniques, create otherworldly romantic landscapes that appear to dissolve into mist. Paint, combined with metal leaf and other reflective materials such as glass beads, results in a glowing seductive surface that begs the viewer to come closer and explore the intricacies of the painting.”
Gaya is an abstract artist from Toronto, Canada, who creates tactile paintings that capture the intrinsic poetic beauty of nature. Her aesthetic approach and painting techniques combine many of the best painterly elements from Impressionism as well as the spontaneity and experimentation of Abstract Expressionism.
She explains, “To define the underlying aesthetic concept of my artwork, it is an abstraction which represents an amalgamation of various streams in the contemporary art.”
Like Kandinsky, the artist also attributes music as a powerful source of inspiration, and states, it “induces my profound emotions, plays on the strings of imagination and culminates in a refined creativity of artwork.”
In explaining her preference for abstraction she states, “Creation through abstract art is the sublime freedom to express oneself. To be an artist means to me to gain that ultimate and sought-after freedom.”