Friday, June 21, 2013

Artistic Inspiration #2: Leif Nilsson

Every weekend I'll be featuring a favorite artist of mine.
You never know what or who will turn up each weekend!

"Eustasia Island" by Leif Nilsson

My hometown favorite artist. He captures my childhood playground along the CT Shoreline. Someday, I will own an original. Someday Leif Nilsson will be considered an American Master, along the likes of Andrew Wyeth, in my opinion.

I would say that Leif is a "Contemporary Impressionist"...his works remind me of European Impressionist Masterpieces...but he is a Contemporary artist painting primarily in New England, with particular interest in the Connecticut Shoreline. What has always fascinated me and actually made me swoon  when I've had the opportunity to watch Leif paint or view his finished paintings, is the way he captures light on canvas. His paintings literally glow...he captures the moment of the day at which he painted the piece....dawn, dusk, mid-day. It is glorious. 

Perhaps I'm biased, because not only are Leif's subjects the stomping grounds of my youth, but I remember an instance, when I was a teenager, watching him painting the church across from my parent's home.  It was December and the light was Winter light...every day for a week he'd be at the church for about an hour and a half, the same time each day. I'd be doing my homework and looking out my bedroom window, seeing what he saw and watching him furiously painting away at his canvas on an easel. He was so cool. And I remember thinking to myself that if he captured the pink sunset the way it was in reality that no one would believe the color of the sky was really that pink...they would think that he was exaggerating the beauty. That's when I sort of realized that art isn't just about capturing what is there in front of's about what the artist sees, feels, interprets.  That voyeristic art moment inspired me to create my own "art" and led me to experiment with art classes in High School and on to the beginnings of a BFA in college...that turned into an Art Minor {my Dad suggested that I find a more practical I became an English Lit Major and because I had enough credits I was a double minored with Business and Art}.

"Chester Cove, Autumn Morning"

"Chester Center, Winter Dusk"

"Chester Center"

"Hamburg Cove"
CAT# 3182  Watch Hill Harbour from the Lawn  oil 24 x 36  Leif Nilsson Summer 2012 ©
"Watch Hill Harbor from the Lawn"
"East Haddam"
 CAT# 2883 Essex Cat Boat from South Cove - morning oil 24 x 48 Leif Nilsson summer 2007©
"Essex South Cove, Morning"
"Jennings Pond"
{the place where I caught my first frog and learned how to ice skate, btw}

I never did get to see the finished Church Paintings that he was working on , but in searching for it online I found this article with the picture of Leif working away, Church in the background.

For more about Leif, his studio, technique and his passion for marrying art and nature you can visit his studio page here.

And for a glimpse into Nilsson's Studio visit this interview about" Sunday Salon at Spring Street Studio and Gallery". 


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