About the Artist: Nadia Batourin
Nadia is a 17-year-old high school student who has been interested in art since her childhood. She grew up in St. Catharines Ontario but has always been drawn to the country, enjoying camping and horseback riding. She began taking art classes at five years old from a local art studio. After excelling with her homeschool art curriculum, she began focusing on exploring and developing drawing, painting, pastels, and printmaking skills in high school. She earned a Foundations I course through Niagara Arts Studio where she won the Second-Place award in the Slice of Life exhibit. She then completed Foundations II through a self-directed study with private tutor, Lorenda Harder. After much consideration, Nadia chose oils to be her medium of choice. Her goals were to study Bavarian artist, Carl Spitzweg 1808-1885, and American artist, Edward Hopper 1882-1967 (especially his early work), whose styles she admired and for their peaceful and natural scenes, to capture these similar qualities in her own work while layering in her developing spontaneous style.
Artist’s Statement: I wanted to challenge myself with a new medium yet develop my personal style. I liked the smoothness of the oils and their blending abilities and I started with my painting ‘Cows’ - from there found that I was drawn to the peacefulness and the animals in the country, which inspired the remainder of my pieces. I had started out by using the traditional underpainting for oil paintings, but it was keeping my style too stiff. When I did my portrait sketches without underpainting, I was inspired to forgo underpainting altogether. I felt freed up!
About the Show
We begin with a country scene. Upon reflecting on it, we are gently drawn in. We find ourselves in the field or following the long shadows beside the highway. We move to the portraits…Disturbing at first, upon settling on the eyes, again, drawn in to a contemplative, melancholy calm. Nadia shows the appeal of calmness. Meanderings were created using Plein air painting within two hours of Niagara Falls (painting in the fresh air from life in the country) as well as from her own reference photos or looking in a mirror in her home studio space. Nadia was taken with stories that spoke to her in each setting – from the bird finding rest on a rock to the setting sun on a hazy day. She wanted to express the appealing calmness of nature she experiences – from rural life to quiet moments of reflection.
Tutor’s Statement: Nadia chose a surprising medium to express her natural spontaneous style but I noticed the moment her landscapes began to come alive, with a new softness and maturity, simple stories like Spitzweg, light-dark contrasts reminiscent of Hopper, and a strong sense of composition.