Nancy Totten

Order from Chaos

I want to create order out of chaos. I paint to record the subtleties that exist in the clash between the starkness of the urban environment and nature. In my paintings I try to implement a sense of rhythm and balance to depict what I see everyday, but don’t always pause to acknowledge. The simple act of taking a walk around the block presents me with the dichotomy and random relationship that exists between the rigid urban landscape and the natural environment. For a split second all is connected. An awareness has been awakened. That freeze-framed moment triggers a nerve that excites and intrigues me. I want to illustrate the fragility of that moment through the mental and physical aspects of painting.

I try to capture the symphonic quality of color, form, and ardent emotion through the use of warm earth tones overlapped with strong geometric shapes. The use of bold line creates a sense of urgency and spontaneous energy laced with modest restraint. The contrast of light and dark areas in the paintings combine to create tension between the real and the imagined; memory of the initial moment and how I translate it to the canvas. The ultimate achievement for me is when I discover the balance of improvisational freedom, subtle sensitivity, and deeply realized emotion in my work.