To say that David Nolan’s landscape paintings are representational would only be a half truth as each of his landscapes reveals dynamic elements of abstraction. It is as if he divides his canvas into sections, reserving some areas for more recognizable structures (buildings, banks, trees) while leaving shadow, foreground and reflective areas fluid and impressionistic. These two approaches are executed with the same quick, energetic brush strokes which build upon each other to create a visually fascinating experience.
The colors in Nolan's palate contrasts with those we see in the natural world; this distinction casts a surrealistic light over his imagery, rendering them fantastical, or dream-like. It is in these color choices (as well as his paint handling) that we can see the direct influence Nolan's teacher Harry Sefarbi had on his work.
Whether or not we have had the opportunity to visit these sites in France, or the old city of Quebec, we experience them with fresh eyes when standing before Nolan’s canvases. All of the excitement of discovering a new and intriguing environment floods us as we take in the panoramic views of land, sea and sky.
"Early Morning Fontenac" by David Nolan. Oil on canvas 36x12"
David Nolan is originally from Delaware and is currently working with the Barnes Foundation here in Philadelphia as an adjunct art instructor.