Virginia, United States
Mediums: Acrylics, Gloss Medium and Varnish, and Modeling Paste
I am a native of Orange County, Virginia and have taught art education in the public schools for 38 years. Teaching is a profession that allows one to share their passion and zeal for a subject and pass it on to their students.
I work primarily in acrylics for their versatility and compatibility with other media. The purpose of my impressionist paintings is to reflect a need, care, and reverence for a serene earth and the desire to share it with the viewer through color, pattern, and texture.
A Luminous View of the Rapidan River
© Lee Nixon
This scene depicts my impression of the Rapidan River, where as a youth, I would fish, swim, and daydream. The bright colors symbolizes the joy, peace, and tranquility that I experience then, and the belief in a future paradise on earth.
“Please tell us about your first experience creating.”
Painting and drawing was introduced to me at a very young age; (the exact age I cannot remember.) My mother is gifted at drawing and love to create. My father loved the outdoors, so if you put the two together, you have a landscape painter.
The very first painting that I can remember was a self-portrait in watercolors at the age of ten or eleven. Several friends of the family had dropped by and they exclaimed; oh, he is painting a self-portrait! That was an encouraging compliment and encouraged me to continue my interest.
“How long have you considered yourself an artist?”
I have considered myself as an artist since the age of 18. A self-portrait was drawn on the back of a shoe box, and I was astonished by the likeness achieved with a few simple lines. It was a boast to my ego. Later on, I was commissioned to paint a portrait and that began my first sale. Interesting enough, I have not painted portraits for a long time, but switched to landscapes which I find more exciting.
Brilliant View of Fall Alongside the Rapidan River
© Lee Nixon
This is a scene highlighting the drama of fishing on the Rapidan River with the flowing rapids. It represents my life as a youth with vigor and endless energy, just like the river.
“What are you trying to convey to viewers through your art?”
The passion, love, and appreciation for the planet we call earth is what being conveyed through my art. And, although the earth is being ruined through pollution, it is still a splendid spectacle to behold. On a clear day, which are becoming rarer, brilliant hues of color, and surrounding mountains throughout Virginia become visible for the eyes to behold. My goal is to enhance the viewer’s appreciation for the immense beauty of the earth all around us, that is, takes the time to allow our senses to feast on the surrounding beauty.
“Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.”
The creative process begins with seeing a spectacular sunrise, or a pattern of rolling hills with hay bells and meadows, to a clear view of a mountain range with beams of light from the heavens. I recreate this scene within my mind and also take numerous photos if it is impossible to paint the scene on location.
The photos are transferred to the computer which will enable me to crop and filter the light. However, there are times that I may immediately begin painting on the canvas spontaneously without any definite steps.
The canvas is usually divided into thirds to avoid a symmetrical or balanced scale composition. Next a wash is applied to tone down the white canvas and establish a definite mood; generally with a warm color like yellow, red, or orange to denote warmth and passion.
Usually, I begin with the background utilizing aerial perspective; usage of color to designate distance. Tissue paper or modeling paste is often applied to the foreground to establish rich impasto textures.
Next is the tedious work of adding details, reflected light and modeling for three dimensions. Finally, I add numerous glazes to represent the color of light, atmospheric conditions, and to produce a luminous quality.
The final painting could take several days or months to complete. So, nothing is guaranteed.
Majestic Day at Gregg’s Pond
© Lee Nixon
This is inspired from my former favorite fishing hole. It represents the quiet, peaceful moments experienced as a youth, pondering on the meaning of life and the future.
“What things inspire you to create art?”
I love the interplay of sunlight splashing and bathing natural objects to light dancing across the clouds. All forms of texture are appealing. Landscapes are awe inspiring as I am fascinated by the various forms, patterns, and shapes found in nature. The glimmering reflections in rivers, ponds, and lakes are breathtaking as well.
And, seeing vivid colors on the palette and how they can be applied in a pure form onto a blank canvas, sparking the creative process!
“What exhibitions have you had?”
I have been fortunate to have had numerous exhibitions. The most memorable include: The Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, The University of Virginia Medical Hospital (focus on how art aids in the healing process) Charlottesville, Virginia, The Walker’s Gallery at Woodberry Forest, Madison, Virginia, and the Morin Gallery at the Orange Art Center in Orange Virginia, and many others including online shows.
“Have you sold any of your artworks? How?”
I have sold numerous paintings. They are usually sold from an exhibition at a gallery, hospital or street festival. Sometimes, nothing is sold during the exhibition, but later I will receive an Email or call requesting a painting. At times, I have received a commission for a painting after a show. That adds to the joy of painting! In addition to that, I have sold several prints.
How do you promote your art on the internet?
I primarily utilize Fine Art America (an online art gallery) along with a blog as the major source to promote my work. I also have an additional blog. I have written articles on art which have been published. In addition, I belong to several internet groups that promote art including Linkedin. I’m listed in several directories and local councils for artists. Very soon, I’m scheduled for a showing at Copper flame online gallery during February 16 to February 28, 2013.
Golden Light Converging Upon the Farm
© Lee Nixon
This scene depicts my impression of a local farm scene in Orange County. The bright colors symbolizes the tranquility and peace in a rural setting.
“Tell us about influences, if any.”
The greatest influence is viewing the works of creation. Next, I would include the Hudson River School Artists such as Thomas Cole and others. What impressed me about this school of artists are their amazing compositions, colors of light and luminous qualities created by numerous glazes. The Romantics are equally as fascinating with their usage of light.
“Please recommend another artist you admire, and tell us a little about them.”
I discovered a little known artist while visiting the Virginia Art Museum in Richmond, Virginia during the summer of 2012. The artist name is: Robert Scott Duncanson. He became a much appreciated landscape painter with his views of the Ohio River Valley. He is best known for his shimmering, dreamy landscapes. He, too was principally influenced by the landscapist, Thomas Cole.
“Tell us something interesting in your life.”
Family Vacation pays off.
A few years ago, the family visited the Niagara Falls in upstate New York. Naturally, I painted the magnificent scene and to my surprise, someone purchased a large print of the painting very soon after. The family vacation paid off. I have numerous other ideas from family vacations that I intend to use as subject matter in the very near future.
An interesting saying I created in reply to my high school art students that tickled their fancy: Nixon is the name, Art is the game, Ask me again, and I will tell you the same!
I recently received an honorable mention for a written article from; News Digest International. That was a pleasant surprise.
“What is the most annoying thing someone has said to you about your art?”
In college students would visit the various art studios on campus and request; What are you giving away today?! The next most annoying thing would be person requesting that you create lettering for a card or sign, assuming that all artists are calligraphers and or sign painters.
Surging Flow of Immense Power and Beauty
© Lee Nixon
Depicts the dynamic energy generated by the balance of immense dynamic energy of power balanced by the fragile beauty of nature and vegetation on our wondrous home, the earth.
“Do you have any regrets in your life as an artist?”
Art is life, and I enjoy living, therefore there are no regrets in my life as an artist. I enjoy creating and that does not depend on how anyone reacts to the artwork. Actually negative comments incite me to work harder. Painting is an excellent way to relieve stress and stimulate the mind. That is a good thing!
“What plans do you have for the future of your art?”
I’m looking forward to retiring from teaching in the near future, thereby having additional time to do what I love – painting and spending quality and quantity time with the family. I’m looking forward to; smelling the roses, viewing sunrises and sunsets, and hiking into the mountains. Yes, spending more time in the art studio creating, is the goal. In addition to that, is re-establishing my very own personal website.
“Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?”
Enjoy what you create and exhibit your work wherever you can.
Eventually your love and passion for creating will be discovered by others who will appreciate your ideas and creativity.
Success starts within!!!
Lee Nixon - The Luminous Painter
Virginia, United States
Website: Lee Nixon Artist