Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson’s paintings are part of a practice of “intentional viewing”, working to discover what in the subject demands attention, and finding the means to convey that beauty in layers of form, color and light.
Her works explore the intricacies of natural forms she studies in local environments. Structures are examined in intimate detail. Every painting reveals something more about the environment and about the artist. Taking time to pause and investigate these forms closely, she builds her images with layers of glazing until the sense of inter-connectedness in nature becomes apparent to the viewer. This process of seeing and revealing opens a potential in the viewer to begin questioning their view of the world.
Cynthia uses acrylic glazing, fluid and heavy body media, graphite, and pastels to create her paintings, drawings, and prints on paper or canvas. She maintains studios in WI, MN and AZ.
Her “Waterscapes” began with images conceived and created from her studio in northern WI. Water is an essential subject matter in the current work. With invaluable time available to meditate and reflect – the work takes on an introspective atmosphere. Images gathered from waterscapes found on a lake in northern Wisconsin are developed into paintings, drawings and prints.
“Art brings a higher quality of life to any living environment. At times it can clarify reality or bring an opportunity for meditation and reflection. Art causes the viewer to stop and consider the flourish of activity in the making of a painting that is communicated if the viewer is willing to take the time to absorb.”
– Cynthia Starkweather-Nelson
What compels Cynthia to the subject is the beauty, subtlety, and mystery found in closer examination of the digital images. She gains a deeper understanding of the complexities found within the waters explored. Working on this series has allowed her to examine in depth what is not immediately visible but is captured instantly by the camera. Sometimes there are pleasant surprises in the compositions captured, the play of light, depth of surface, richness of color the active world under the surface.
Born in Moline, IL Cynthia received a BFA in painting and drawing from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) followed by an MFA in printmaking at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN).
Upon graduation she was employed as the intaglio printer with Vermillion Editions in Minneapolis. She taught art at St. Thomas Academy 1995 – 2008, leaving to concentrate more time on her art. She had a successful twenty-year connection with the Peter M. David Gallery, Minneapolis, MN. Cynthia is active in Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) and Project Art for Nature (PAN).
Cynthia’s work is found in many private and corporate collections including 3M, General Mills Corporation, Bank of America, and Gannet Newspapers.
See more of Cynthia’s work in the Virtual Art Gallery