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ABOUT THOMAS MCNICKLE
For as long as I can remember, the landscape has been the focus for my thoughts, time and energy. I consider it a privilege to deal, on a daily basis, with this subject.
When I confront the landscape, I am overwhelmed by the specificity of the moment, the place, and the light. Through painting I try, not only to experience the moment, but to connect with it in a way that is outside the moment…timeless.
I work both in the studio and on location, painting watercolors plein-air which serve as studies for larger watercolors and oils done in the studio. As the studio works unfold, they provide an access to my memory of the time and place…not a literal visual memory, but a kind of organic memory, allowing me to re-experience them in totally new ways. It’s like following a piece of string to its origin. The only useful motion is returning.
I want my work to be evocative of the initial experience not descriptive of it. Ultimately, it must be of the experience not about it. I want the scene to take precedence over what I do and what I think I know.
The landscapes of my paintings come directly from my understanding of and involvement with my immediate surroundings – the fields, the woods and marshes that I have known since childhood.
I try, through my work, to capture the sites, sounds, smells and endless cycles that are the places I paint…to discover, what Patrick Kavanagh called, “ The undying difference in the corner of a field”.