By Samantha Walker
Photo by Samantha Walker
Jan. 17, Thiel welcomed Nancy Connelly and Bill Simon to host a gallery displaying of their latest works.
The event brought a strong attendance and plenty of questions for the artists. They generously answered questions ranging from their backgrounds to their artistic techniques.
Simon and Connelly both have an extensive artistic background. While Simon hand painted billboard signs, Connelly attended multiple forms of art training, including prestigious and professional schooling.
Simon and Connelly gave biographical speeches and answered questions focused on their artistic process.
Most of the paintings Simon had on display were color pastel landscapes void of any man-made architecture. He explained that considering his work is always done outside, he appears to be “like a circus” lugging equipment through fields while covered in pastel chalk dust.
When asked where they seek inspiration, the artists answered similarly despite vastly different techniques.
Simon’s largest paintings that were on display came from “snooping around farms.”
While all of Simon’s art was on canvas, Connelly’s consisted of wooden bird sculptures.
Connelly did not explain her inspiration though it was clear she does not hold interest in bird watching with the intent to recreate replicas.
“I take what I see and reinterpret.” Connelly said, when talking of her technique.
Her intentions could be obvious when viewing her work: though the art resembles the animal, it never includes every tail feather.
Simon travels the countryside to gain artistic inspiration. Connelly stays closer to home, finding inspiration in Lake Erie driftwood, random discoveries and friends’ odd finds.
“I have a lot of angst while running to my wood pile. Sometimes I find pieces so beautiful I can’t burn them.”
Simon rounded out his talk by handing out sound advice for budding artists: “imitation is extremely important.” It may feel like plagiarism, but he made it to be the gateway to finding a personal style and technique.