Deer, 24 x 30 inches, acrylic on stretched canvas.
HER paintings started out as portraits with solid back-ground
“I didn’t know what to do with the back-ground,”
As we are all influenced by what we see and
like, her backgrounds changed from plain color to
decorative floral patterns, influenced by William Morris’s wallpaper
When viewers step up close to her paintings, they see the care-fully
applied strokes and the realism the animals she portrays come
alive. Animals speak to us when we encounter them. They touch us
as they share their lessons of strength and courage, gentleness and
fertility, nurturing and protection.
Motherhood contributed to Naomi’s instinct to protect.
“Becoming a mother was the biggest change in my life,” she
says. “I went from looking outwards constantly to looking very
close by. And you gain a second sight, because you’re seeing
through someone else’s eyes.”
She stresses the importance of how our actions affect people
“You’re influencing so many more lives, defenseless people and
creatures down the food chain, by every action you take,” she says.
“You have to think of how it’s being received. You might think it’s
funny to make loud noises, but you may be frightening your baby or
dog, and they’re hearing it for the first time. It’s being received and
you have to be responsible for that.”
One of the nicest moments she’s had as an artist happened during
an exhibition in Wilmington.
“A couple came in, they were on their honeymoon, and they
bought one of the paintings right in front of me,” she says. “They
didn’t know I was there. But they bought the painting as a wedding
present for themselves. And it was just so sweet.”
They were holding hands, and holding the painting on the way out
as if it were a child, affecting them positively for years to come.
WBM april 2020