Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Nada Herman - Artist

A short while ago I posted that I had been fortunate to visit the artist, Nada Herman's, beautiful home and studio on a promontary above Pittwater. www.nada-art.com
Nada very generously agreed to answer some questions for my blog, which is a huge privilege...

Q: I remember when we arrived in Sydney a few years ago and first saw one of your beach paintings – I thought it conjured up a true image of Australia with its vibrancy and colours.  Can you remember when and where you were first inspired to paint one of these scenes?

 I've always had a connection with the beach ever since I can remember.
     When I was at "Art School" I did a huge triptych of the beach and I guess it grew from there.
     I was fascinated with  the movement of the waves, colours  of all the umbrellas,people and towels and the happy ambience of everyone having fun.

Q:  Your beautiful floral works are so lively and cheerful – how long does it take on average to complete a painting and do you normally only paint the one at a time?

         I am by no means a slow, labored  painter.
         In fact I have this sense of urgency I feel when I am painting.
         I am so excited to express what I see that I go into a frenzy of excitement throwing on the paint as quick as I can.
         I am usually exhausted by the end of what can be 6-10hours
         If I have excess paint I will use it up on another canvas, and if I still have energy I will work that canvas also.
Q:  You come from a very respected artistic family and graduated with a Bachelor in Visual Arts.  Can you tell us what that meant to you as a child growing up in such an environment and how it still influences you today?

     I have always felt very privileged to have come from such a creative and respected background.
     I have never wanted to waste the talent I inherited nor let my family down.
     That I guess creates a pressure to do well which can be good and bad.
     It becomes your driving force in life and can distract you from family and friends.

Q:  Was there ever a time in your life when you felt you wanted to be something other than an artist?  Are you interested in other creative or design disciplines?
       I can honestly say "no".
       Although I am always a mother first and foremost.
Q:  Your style is quite unique and different to your father’s or grandfather’s – can you tell us how you came to develop your present style – i.e. bold and colourful with thick brush strokes– and do you continue to think about and experiment with new ideas?
       When my grandfather,father and I all painted together in the one studio, I was exposed to large quantities of oil paint.
       I never thought about the expense of it all.
       As I became more confident with color and texture I applied more paint.
       It grew from there.
       All artists continually experiment with ideas. It is what we do until we die.
  We never know where we will go with it either.
Q:  What is the technique that you use when painting multiple layers – I understand you use a palette knife?
  A palette knife allows me to paint fresh color over wet oil paint.
           This  keeps the paint fresh with color while creating thick, textured, spontaneous strokes.

         Q:  You have already achieved so much success at such a young age – are there any dreams or ambitions that you would still like to fulfill?
             Thank you for saying that. 
              I guess I would like to be one of the most successful oil painting artists in Australia.
              But most importantly I want to be happy being that person, as often there are sacrifices we have to make to reach our goals.
              Then when we get to the goal/dream they are not what we thought they would be and we regret what we have given up or whom we have become getting there.
              That is sad when that happens.
Q:  Do you have plans in the near future for any more exhibitions, either here or overseas?  Where can we see or buy your works?
          My next exhibition is at my home/studio at Avalon.
          It will be on 3  weekends in May 11th,12th,18th,19th and 25th,26th
          This is always the best place to buy my work as it is direct from the artist and from where the artist is inspired and creates the paintings.
           People can view some of my works online at www.nada-art.com
Q:  What other Australian or international artists or characters inspire you or do you particularly admire?  How do you see the state of the art scene in Australia and what could be done to support Australian artists more?
         The French impressionists have always been my inspiration. Particularly Van Gogh, Mattisse, Soutine and Vlamink.
          In Australia I admired Fred Williams, Brett Whitely,Margaret Olley, Charles Blackman and the present day Nicholas Harding.
         There are too many to mention.
          Art in Australia I believe needs to be supported by the media more.
          A story in the paper can do so much for an artists success as can a review on tv or on the radio.
          People are unfortunately driven by the media and need to be exposed to Art accidently rather than making a conscious effort to go out to a gallery.

Q:  I recently visited your family home and stunning studio, high above Pittwater with panoramic views, on one of your open days.  The home was designed by the architect Alexander Stewart Jolly who was heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and it is now heritage listed.  To what extent do these beautiful surroundings influence you and your ability to work with nature etc.

          The property has my soul within it.
           This is where I was born and it has helped make me who I am.
           Everywhere you look there is a subject to paint or enjoy.
           I am very blessed to live here.
Q:  With your beach scenes and views of the harbour, you obviously have a strong link to Sydney – could you ever see yourself living anywhere else and if so, where would that be?

              I love the Shoal Haven down the south coast.
              There is a place called Manyana where I spend time.
              It is still natural and not built out. There is only a general store.
              It has been the subject of many paintings.
              I could live there as long as I have a base in Sydney to keep contact with.
              I will always want family around me though.

Please make sure you go to the exhibition in May - put it in your diaries - the whole experience is truly exceptional!

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