Inspired by the Old Masters, artist Rachele Nyssen captures the quiet beauty, presence and richness of Classical Realism in her still life paintings.
In the beginning, I attended workshops where I studied with many of the most prominent artists teaching today. Always excited and filled with new understanding and enthusiasm, I would return home, set up still lifes, and paint self-portraits—anything to practice.
As my studies and work progressed, my desire to understand and learn grew. I moved to San Francisco and began a more formal approach to my education. I studied drawing, anatomy, sculpture and art history. With each class came more passion and appreciation for the great artists of the past, especially those of the Renaissance.
My journey brought me to Paris for two winters, studying at Studio Escalier and drawing from the collection at the Musée du Louvre. Each afternoon I wandered the great halls, studied the compositions of the Renaissance masters, and drew from the sculpture collection. If I stopped in front of a painting, I would start drawing, Quite often, as the composition embedded in the painting would become apparent, I learned to trust my eyes.
In 2015, I was accepted at The Florence Academy of Art US where I was awarded Best Ecorche and Best Still Life. I loved the long days drawing from live models and the intensity of the program. Studying the subtlety and complexity of the human form is a time-honored tradition that tests and trains the artist at the highest level.
Since graduating, I spend most days in my studio. I continue to work from life and natural north light. My process is very important and is somewhat like a meditation, a receptive visual state that allows me to see clearly and simply—to see what is important.
The objects for my still lifes are chosen for their simplicity and strength of contour, elegance of form and tactile quality. l am always seeking ways to add unity to my work. I always ask myself how can I see this bigger, more beautiful and more holistic.
I look for ways to express the movement and quality of the light. Light is always the focus—the main story line. The shadows, which serve as the background, are meant to be unnoticed. They are the abstract design that is the underlying foundation of the composition.
Lost and found edges, brushstrokes, and notes of color are used to take the viewer through the painting. A bit of impasto is used to dazzle and hold your attention, then a lost edge into vagueness and you move on.
I have been learning to paint for the last fifteen years; now I feel like I am just beginning to learn to conduct.
I have recently begun to teach workshops and have found that I also have a passion to share this time-honored tradition. This journey has just begun. I continue to learn each day and I ask myself “How beautiful can I make it?”
Link to Carolyn’s original article here.back