Nina with "Boy from Damaraland"

Nina with “Damara Child”

Faces and figures inspire me to tell stories through visual interpretation. I portray people of all ages and places, probing our human inner experience as it joins the outside world. Like music, each has a melody and rhythm of its own. Some are hidden, like The Healer in front of the full moon. Trying to see into that mystery, I imagine each person’s message and begin to unravel the story. All shower the world with feeling. No matter how alone a subject seems, it connects to something, offering a gift. I look for that connection where the personal and universal meet.

Animals, plants and objects hold stories too—an old hat, a flower leaning into the wind, a bird taking flight—all characters with voices that upon closer examination are vibrating with life. Seeing in everything an essential beauty, tattered and torn or all put together, I seek the soul of a thing, sometimes timeless, sometimes portraying one alive moment. It delights me to share that image with the viewer who completes the story with his or her own vision.

I find ease using varieties of pencils and papers, graphite and charcoal, drawing materials which lend themselves to studies in darkness, light and shades of gray. Pastels offer layers of rich color and blending power. Colored pencils add another means of expression. These tools help me create story portraits and are lovely company as I travel through this world learning. Teaching drawing, I enjoy encouraging others to explore the world with friendly eyes wide open.