Nella Lush in Elements of Structure

On display at Agora Gallery, December 7 - 27, 2007

Opening Reception December 7 th , 6-8 PM

North Andover artist lands N.Y show

North Andover – Stepping into Nella Lush's studio is to climb into a room filled with the color and vibrance of swirling images on canvases of swirling images on canvases hung on the walls and set on easels.

The large windows reveal the surrounding trees. The space is quiet, seeming far away from the rest of the world and closer to Lush's mind and memory.

"I am an emotional artist", Lush said. "As an emotional artist, you have to gather all the feelings and emotions inside you. I don't always know what I will be doing when I sit down and paint."

She will display her work as part of a collective exhibit Dec. 7 to 27 at the Agora Gallery, 530 West 25 th St in New York City .

This I sLush's first exhibit in New York , which has always been a dream of hers. She has had paintings exhibited in Italy , where she grew up and spends her summers, and in Spain where she lived for seven years when her children were young. New York is a way for her to be seen in this country. Lush, 52, lives in North Andover with her husband, who also paints. She said growing up in Italy stirred her artistry when she was very young because art is everywhere. "You can't really think of going to art school in Italy because you are surrounded by art, the history, the architecture, the culture." She said. After she married, she moved to Spain where she painted water and boat scenes, subjects mostly commissioned by others. She found the work limiting and confining and decided to leave painting for a few years.

When she started painting again, after she had moved to North Andover in 1983, she found her focus had shifted from realistic painting to more expressionist and abstract work.

Her youngest child is 25 now and has moved away, so she is spending more time in her studio, often late at night, sometimes listening to the wind, sometimes listening to her music. "I have raised my three children, it's my time now," she said, "I always told them to go for their dreams. Now I am going for mine." She paints one or two pieces a week. She doesn't always know what she will paint when she starts a new work, but she adds color and shapes until a story emerges, one time her sister as a girl, one time a man and woman dancing.

As part of the Andovers Artists Guild, she painted during a demonstration last week, telling the audience she was unprepared as she started to paint. Two hours later, she had a scene from 53 rd West Street in New York City , the excitement of her upcoming exhibit on display on canvas.

She also holds art classes for children in her studio. She was proud of their work as she sifted through a stack of paintings, holding them up to look at the color and expression, while reflecting on how art can influence life.

"Nowadays with the world the way it is, if you teach art to the younger ones, maybe it'll help them through life." She said "Arts will fulfill that void in your life if you have one."

Read More Artist Reviews