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St. Pete Artist Demonstrates Abstract Art At Art Talk

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St. Pete Artist Demonstrates Abstract Art At Art Talk

by James Coulter


If you throw a pebble into a pond, you can see the ripples that are created when the stone breaks the surface. These ripples create abstract patterns upon the surface, though one has to wonder what these patterns look like under the surface.

Nathan Beard has contemplated these thoughts from the patterns created on the water. He remembers thinking that way six years ago after taking his daughter to the park for an outing by the water.

Since then, he has been interpreting such abstract thought within his paintings. Many of them almost appear like ripples and waves upon the water. This ripple effect is further enhanced with smaller lines created by using tape, which is lifted away to reveal even more patterns within the paint.

Beard demonstrated the process that goes into the creation of his abstract artwork during an art talk on Wednesday evening at Curator’s Interiors in Lakeland.

During the demonstration, he used a canvas whose surface was prepared using a mix of acrylic paint and dirt to provide a rough texture. He then applied blue tape to the canvas before applying another layer of paint.

When the paint to his art piece began to dry, he took the canvas into the audience where the attendees could take turns peeling away the tape to reveal the patterns left behind in the paint. What results is a unique piece that exemplifies the human experience within a chaotic world.

“An important aspect is the balance of what we can’t control and what we can control,” he explained. “It is a metaphor for what we can control, human will, and the natural world can be random and chaotic sometimes, so all of us are trying to find that balance in our life. These processes are random and hectic, so you have to work with them.”

For the past six years, Beard has used his paintings to help explore the balance between the physical and metaphysical, showing how the abstract often blends with the unknown. One such art piece shows the edge of a pond with reeds, which, even to this day, Beard sees patterns within that he never noticed before.

“Looking at the abstraction that happens on the surface of the water, when you look at this, it is an abstract painting,” he said. “As I progressed, in the last two years, the shadows on water look like Japanese kanji or Chinese calligraphy. And so I have taken that [interpetation] to another level.”

Beard resides within St. Petersburg where he works as an assistant curator, assistant curator at the Dunedin Fine Art Center and a proprietor at the University of Tampa. His career over the past six years have produced at least three different art series, several of the art pieces of which are currently on display within Curated Interiors.

The local art gallery opened last year and recently celebrated its grand opening earlier this year with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. Its owner, Kim Troutman, wanted to open the gallery to help showcase the unique work of artists both local and visiting.

After viewing some of his work in St. Petersburg, Thompson decided to showcase Beard’s work at her gallery to help showcase his unique outlook to local residents. The vibrant colors and patterns especially drew her into his artwork, she explained.

“The colors and movements…is what struck me the most,” she said. “It is very vibrant and it really stood out to me. It really spoke to me…I would say, I would like the audience to take away a different expression of creativity and an appreciation for his work and what he does.”

Curated Interiors is located at 122 W Main St, Lakeland, FL 33815. For more information about their art and upcoming events, visit their website at: https://www.curatedinteriorsfl.com/

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