Artist follows her dreams – Nella Lush has show at New York City gallery this month.
By Sally Applegate – Correspondent
It's hard to say which generates more emotional warmth – the brilliantly colored paintings of the artist herself.
North Andover artist Nella Lush spent many years creating gorgeous and realistic marine paintings, but more recently found herself drawn to more abstract expression.
"Art and painting is more than just the expression of feelings and emotions in colors," says Lush. "It is an attitude towards life – it is being in touch with nature and seeing the changes, the immensity of the universe."
A press release from the Agora Gallery, in New York City , where three large paintings by Lush will be on display from Dec. 7-27, says she "tells a visual tale of emotion, of mood in its purest manifestation, immersing the viewer into a dimension where time and the material world no longer exist."
"She creates atmosphere by deconstructing shape and form, the vibrant space of the large, abstract painting telling a different story to each viewer. Her fluid brushwork, loose, unstructured contours and luminous color palette of blues and greens of earthly yellows and oranges sparkle with the Mediterranean influences of her native Italy , bringing to mind influences of the Provence landscapes of Paul Cezanne.
"Nella's style is determined by her belief that there is no right or wrong in Art. The important thing is to let the feelings flow. She lets the mood of the moment dictate the first color of paint applied to the virgin canvas and calls her Art expressionistic because it expresses her life." According to the gallery's press release.
The large home in North Andover where Lush lives with her husband, Steven, looks like an art gallery, with her brilliantly colored semi-abstracts and earlier realistic seascapes interspersed with Steven's marine art on the walls.
Lush calls her semi-abstract art "my soul". Her spectacular large oil paintings are part of collections in Spain , North America, France , Italy , New Zealand and Australia . After a lifetime of brining up children she says her time has come.
"I told my children, follow your dreams," says Lush. "Why not? Now is my time, I'm doing my art. If I want to paint at midnight now I can. When kids see a parent putting in so much effort, it will influence them to do the same. They need to see you work hard at everything."
Having few toys during her childhood in Sanvito Dei Normanni Brindisi in the Puglia region of Italy , Lush often amused herself by drawing and painting. She worked started working working hard at it in 1975 at age 22, a year after marrying Steven. She was a marine artist from 1975-1983, and the couple lived in Spain for six years that she described as the happiest time of her life.
"Living right by the sea, my art career took a turn, I became a marine artist, often working on commissions from local yachtsmen," says Lush. "My work was detailed and traditional. There was a lot of planning and thought processing. The work sold but it did not excite me. I was not portraying myself for who I really was. I felt I had to explore myself more."
"I slowly saw my real self emerge and with that my Art took another turn. I was able to let go of the reality of the moment and train my mind to process the memories of the past as seen at the present moment. I slowly became a semi-abstract artist I realize now that the Art to for me is the study of my soul. I am now totally in tune with who I am. I keep telling myself to stay true to my feelings and my own emotions and the universe will take care of the rest. Now, when I sell a piece I am thrilled because I feel I accomplished a part of my soul has touched another soul."
"I'm so thankful to all the people who buy my artwork.” Says Lush. “When you sell artwork, you feel validated. I hope my energy brings happiness to them."
The story of Lush's life as an artist will be included in "Mothers that are artists", an upcoming art book.
"I want my paintings to be in a museum some day" says Lush, "I want people to take their children to a museum and say That's by Nella".
She also writes poetry and short stories, which are illustrated by her daughter Alexandra.
The exhibit of Lush's work is at the Agora Gallery at 530 W. 25 th St. in the Chelsea district of New York City. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, Dec 7, 6-8 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m to 6 p.m.
Lush has this advice for artists facing the challenge of finding time to paint when they have children.
"You just do it," she says, "Don't compromise. Be true to yourself. Don't stop because of your children. If you can only do it for one hour a day – or not every day – still do it, still follow your dream."
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