Throughout my artist practice, my constant is this theme of absence. While each piece offers enough information to be identified as representational art, the limiting nature of the composition abstracts the subject. These images are momentary and restricted, leading to a line of questioning. What are you missing? What else was there? What has been left behind?
My latest work, Void, centers on landscapes, specifically depicting my current home state of Colorado. The American West has long been thought of as the epitome of expansiveness and freedom. Historically, artists painted scenes of the West to replicate the awe initially felt by settlers in this majestic landscape. Today, we must work hard to find views in which the impact of humanity on the land is truly absent. The West is no longer raw and rural; it has been explored, settled, and groomed. My paintings confront our cultural notions of the classic western landscape and hold us accountable for our impact on this land. It is easy to admire a view from a car window, but in order to appreciate the natural elements, we must filter out all sorts of human construction – the power lines, road signs, pavement, and fence posts that obstruct our view. In my paintings, I eliminate these human elements, painting only that which we have not built ourselves– the mountains, plains, and sky. By leaving the man-made structures unpainted, I call attention to them. The resulting ghosts are elegant in their way, but also serve as a visual pause. How much of the physical view is removed when I expel the human presence from the narrative? We must admit the extent to which we have changed the world, so that we may appreciate and protect that which remains.
To read more about my recent series, you can read a post on The American Scholar's blog featuring American landscape artists: https://theamericanscholar.org/clara-nulty/#.WRnC9lPysWp
Clara Nulty is a practicing artist based in Louisville, CO and showing mainly in Denver, CO. Clara was lucky enough to grow up in an unceasingly supportive family. At a young age, she found pen and paper and never looked back. Clara's father, also a watercolorist, provided at home tutelage until Clara began to earnestly pursue schooling. Clara dedicated herself to fine art at Hackley School and also Parsons School of Design.
Clara graduated Hackley with a thirst to pursue art throughout her next four years of education. At Carleton College, in Northfield, MN, Clara expanded her technique and breadth of media. Enjoying classes in printmaking, drawing, painting, and bookbinding, Clara solidified her goals to enter the art world after graduation and pursue her own practice. Clara graduated Carleton, majoring in Studio art with academic honors and distinction in her major.
Recently, Clara has participated in shows at galleries in Denver, Boulder, and New York. She works mainly in watercolor. When studio space is available, she also works in print, bookmaking, and metalsmithing. She enjoys mixing texture, color, narrative, and contemplative moments.