Local painter depicts dramatic sky on Reminder Gold Pages cover

By Andrew J. Concatelli - ReminderNews Assistant Editor
Regional - posted Mon., Nov. 4, 2013
Nancy J. McIntire's painting, 'Twilight Drama,' is featured on the cover of the Reminder Gold Pages’ new Willimantic/Putnam/Killingly 2013-2014 directory. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

Just as it is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul, Connecticut artist Nancy J. McIntire believes that the sky reveals the soul of a painting. “It sets the emotional stage for the viewer, it sets the mood,” McIntire said. “What’s happening in the sky will determine the lighting, which affects the shadows that are created on the landscape, and the lighting reveals the colors you see.”

A colorful and strikingly-lit sky is the focus of McIntire’s painting, “Twilight Drama,” which is featured on the cover of the Reminder Gold Pages’ new Willimantic/Putnam/Killingly 2013-2014 directory, now being distributed to area homes and businesses.

“I have a penchant for evocative, dramatic skies – especially the magical and fleeting moments of twilight,” McIntire said. “It is for these reasons I was inspired and excited to paint ‘Twilight Drama.’”

This painting was created from reference photos McIntire took while traveling through Andover in the summer of 2011. “I noticed a very interesting sky about twilight – not threatening, but an unusual moodiness and interesting gathering of clouds,” she said. “After pulling off the road, I snapped several photos and then I was back on the road. Within five minutes, the sky put on a real dramatic narrative – thunder, lightening, sheets of rain and all the accompanying booming, cracking and roaring!”

Her favorite part of this painting is the horizon area. “The colors in the sky and the shapes in the clouds evoke a drama that pulls you in and invites you to take a closer look,” McIntire said. “I wanted to paint those moments before the storm, the daylight surrendering to the night, the interesting clouds that seemed to play out a story like puppets in a shadow box.”

The original painting is oil on canvas, 30 X 36. In the fall of 2011, the painting won “Best in Show” at the Tolland County Art Association’s 22nd Annual Open Show, and in 2012 it won Honorable Mention in the Professional Artist category of the National Arts Program.

McIntire prefers to paint “en plein air” to observe nature and her surroundings as she paints. “Seeing the colors first-hand, aided by all my senses as I transfer my living three-dimensional subject to the two-dimensional canvas, is both a joy and a challenge,” she said.

Other times, she paints in her studio from her personal reference photos, notes and memory. “As an artist, I am always observing nature and carry a camera with me so that I can snap photos of images that I can reference when trying to recreate the image or moment that made me take notice, and which inspired me to want to capture it… to hit that proverbial ‘pause’ button so that it could be savored over and over again,” McIntire said.

The artist thinks that everyone should feel joy about the artwork they hang in their homes each time their eyes pass over it. “When I paint a painting, that is my goal, my personal challenge – to create a portal to that kind of experience,” she said.

McIntire looks forward to having her work seen on a Reminder Gold Pages directory for the third time. “It is always a thrill to see my artwork on the cover,” she said.

McIntire displays work regularly at the Autumn Light Studio & Gallery in Avon, and on a periodic basis at several others including Lyme Art Association, and Clubhouse and Saltbox Galleries at West Hartford Art League. More of her artwork may be viewed on her website, www.nancymcintire.fineartstudioonline.com.

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