Barbara Nechis is a contemporary watercolor artist. She holds a BA in History and Fine Arts from the University of Rochesterand an MS from Alfred University. She was a faculty member of Parsons School of Design for many years and has taught seminars at Pratt Institute, throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She has served as a juror and director of the American Watercolor Society.
She is the author of Watercolor From the Heart (Watson-Guptill Publications, 1993) and Watercolor the Creative Experience (North Light Books, 1979). Her work appears in many publications and collections, among them the Butler Institute of American Art, IBM, and Citicorp. She resides in Napa Valley in northern California.
Barbara tells us about her creative process,
‘My work is an exploration based on my response to the entire experience of nature. I use the fundamentally abstract patterns of nature both as a source of inspiration and as a compositional element to produce effects that allude to the proportions and harmonies of the physical landscape without imitating it.
My pursuit of the spirit of nature rather than as photographic imitation led me to abstraction and I discovered in the process that often, after painting what I thought to be abstract, I would find similar shapes in nature. I have learned from viewing my photographs how abstract the landscape really is. I combine abstract principles with knowledge of the form and depth of mountains, rock, trees, crevices, and water, to produce an abstract realism. Although none of these objects are actually rendered, my paintings capture the impression of those elements.
By choosing to create my own forms out of the experience of seeing many in nature, I do not compete with the natural beauty of the environment. I do what nature itself cannot do: I use paint, water, edge, layers, gradations, color, shapes and my imagination to produce effects in ways that real rock, mountains, trees and flowers cannot produce. I call my work “Abstract Realism”.
More than the subject, the joy and frustration that alternate in the course of creating each painting is the hook which keeps me absorbed in my search to express the essence of nature mostly through watercolor: a sometimes elusive medium which in its flow and at its best can imitate a force of nature.’
You will find additional information on Barbara and her work at this WEBSITE