Thursday, November 1, 2012

A love for art and nature

Artist Neal Massy continues to inspire his fans through scenes of nature and the environment as 21 pieces of his works are on show at the Horizons Art Gallery, Mucurapo Road, St James. The theme "Eternity in a Moment" is his 25th solo exhibition in which he has skilfully captured the calming effects of flowing waters, crystallised rivers, clear skies, lush mountains, rich foliage and flora and fauna. His latest collection is a year's work of drawing inspiration from nature.

Massy is a realist who turns to mother nature as his main source.  Over the years he has grown to appreciate the use of his camera to capture things that inspires him. According to the artist, "I am usually inspired by nature; it is easy for me to connect with the things around me. I take nature walks and take pictures of the life around me. Then I return to the studio and I use my pictures as inspiration. Through the pictures I tend to get a closer look at things before I paint them. I am able to compose and combine things I want to paint; it's easier for me to work from pictures," Massy said.

Massy exhibits his works every year. Although he dabbles in portraits and other themes he is at his best when he focuses on nature. He advocates through his paintings, for the preservation of the environment. His paintings, he said, encourages people to be more aware of their environment.  "I hope that through my work people will be more aware of their environment and the need to protect it. I tend to create an awareness of the beauty of our islands; and the need to preserve wildlife, through my paintings," he said.

The realism of Massy's paintings is so alive and vivid that it is easy for viewers to lose themselves in his works. Paintings such as "River Scene Lopinot 1 (with Wren)", " River's Edge — Mathura River", "River Scene Lopinot 2", "River Scene Valencia", "North Coast View — Maracas", "Ferruginous Pygmy Owl" and "Coastline View — Las Cuevas", are all captivating and authentic in acrylic. According to Massy, "I have a reverence for nature because I feel closer to God and I see everything as sacred.  Life is sacred. To me the purpose of art in itself is to try to express the essence of the divine; I try to bring that out clearly though my paintings. Nature is my specialty; I am at my best when I work with nature," he said.

Massy got bitten by the nature bug in 1980 and was hooked ever since. He started specialising in nature paintings after attending an environment seminar for two weeks. Since then, he started focusing on local birds and nature scenes. In 1998 he published a book of his paintings and writings entitled Nature's Light. The book is largely based on his personal feelings about nature and various inspirations he drew from the outdoors over the years.

When Massy is not painting, he spends most of his time with nature, drawing inspiration for his next showing. His favourite environment is the Asa Wright Nature Centre. "I take time away from painting to go bird watching and to connect with nature and to find subjects I want to paint. It's nothing I get tired of because I love doing it. I choose to be an artist because of the love I have for nature," he said.

"It's all about love for nature and love for life and getting that message of peace and love and harmony across through my work rather than all the negativity and complacency," Massy said. 

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