March 2017 Artist of the Month | Nicholas Stirling

Congratulations to our March 2017 Artist of the Month, Nicholas Stirling! Stirling was a finalist in The Artist’s Magazine‘s Annual Art Competition! His piece Stoic can be seen below. Read more about the artist below and why this piece resonates with him in these changing times.

Ontario, Canada ~ nstirling.com/oil-paintings-gallery

artist of the month

Stoic (oils and resins on wood, 30×40) by Nicholas Stirling

 

March 2017 Artist of the Month | Nicholas Stirling

From childhood into adulthood, I’ve needed some form of image making as a way to crystallize concepts and fleeting memories. Early music training was also a parallel interest. For many years I’ve managed a business in music scoring for film and television documentaries.

While I kept some momentum in painting during those years, since 2010 I’ve returned with full vigor and have been honored with numerous commissions, sales and several painting awards.

I chose wood as my surface to carve and scratch it, evoking a harsh wintered landscape. The media includes oils, tree resin, safflower oil and dammar varnishes. After several tests on smaller panels, I arrived at a finish-coat solution of mineral spirits and cold wax medium to obtain a subtle satin luster. Overall Stoic took over six weeks, allowing for resin layers to partially harden.

There are always surprises when imagining a scene and how the painted image evolves. In this case, it was the luminosity and contrast of the dark water and gentle deer that brought the composition to life for me.

This piece relates to my own quest for a stoic mindset to maintain equilibrium in these “interesting” times. One of my alchemic moments in painting is when an element takes hold and evolves artistically. Stoic is a study in resolution and determination. I wanted the deer, seen as a prey animal, to embody determination—to begin a journey against formidable odds, alluding to struggles and survivals happening each moment of every day.

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