George Nick was recommended to me by Professor Thielker after reading my semester project idea. Nick is a realist oil painter that has been around for nearly six decades. He was born and raised in Rochester, Ny where he was innitially torn by the prospect of becoming a physicist of a musician. Nick has always been a very curious mind and has thrived on the notion of investigating and understanding all that is available to him. Upon coming into himself as an artist, Nick recalled, "because I was interested in the world, art seemed like a good way to learn about it." It is Nicks passion for knowledge and discovery that is reflected in his works. Nick is best known for his raw and honest portrayals of the greater Boston area through urban landscapes of trains, cars, streets, buildings, etc. However, unlike many of the conventional painters of Nicks time, Nick is bored with the "studio life." He much prefers to be one with nature and all that it has to offer him. Nick is inspired by light, and life's fleeting moments. In order to capture these fleeting moments Nick goes to great lengths. It is quoted that Nick "has been setting out-sometimes daily, usually, an hour before dawn-in an outfitted, over sized truck-large enough for him to stand and walk around in-customized with picture windows on either side" in order to truly capture what catches his eye. Nick does not believe in settling with his art work. It is the thrill of not knowing where his next painting will be that excites and intensifies his art work. He must feel a true connection what he is seeing and be able to paint at that moment in time.
Similiarly to Duane Michaels, George Nick also has strong beliefs about his art. While Nick focuses on different subject matter and uses the medium of oil paint in contrast to photography, it is their passion for art and wanting to communicate to the viewer that connect these artists. Michaels is driven behind the idea of setting a mood and evoking meaning behind his works. Similiarly, Nick is driven to show real moments in time and believes that he must do whatever it takes to relay that moment to the viewer even if it means traveling in a "studio on wheels" up the east coast.
While I am Struck by Nick's ability to honestly render an urban landscape, it is his passion to capture the immediacy of life that has recently inspired me as an artist. While I am focusing on the urban landscape as well, my focus of the Worcester train is much more narrow that Nick's paintings of New England. Additionally, while I can admire Nick's realist style, I intend to make my paintings looser and more impressionistic. However, Nicks works have inspired me to take a closer investigation of the Worcester train station and possibly paint en plein aire rather than paint from a photograph.