Good Art Guide Issue 8 - Page 8

Nancy Calef

For many decades I’ve been creating “Peoplescapes,” oil, sculptured characters and applied objects on canvas, addressing cultural, political and spiritual issues facing society. By juxtaposing people in recognizable places and situations, each painting weaves together a story about contemporary life, filled with layers of detail, symbolism and humor. I have highlighted struggles with race, global warming, toxins in our food, the corruption in the financial, medical and pharmaceutical industries.

“Plane slashing” is the latest progression of my 3D technique building up the canvas; lately I’m tearing, cutting and manipulating the plane of a painting, while integrating it with one or more finished canvases attached. Painting into the deconstructed imagery as a whole, leaving various portions of the underlying picture(s) in tact, results in a cohesively transformed multi-dimensional piece.

As this work evolves, the experience is liberating, moving from chaos to destruction and on to an intuitive composition somewhere between abstraction and surrealism. Everyday, I take the brush to canvas and, although I am confronted with fear and insecurity, I also tap into a limitless source of imagery. In those moments, time falls away and it seems that the work creates itself.