By Shelley Werner
(AJNews) – The beautiful image on the cover of the Edmonton Rosh Hashana edition of Alberta Jewish News is entitled Mizrach, by Carol Neiger, a painter and printmaker living near Chicago, Illinois. She will be featured on the November 2 show of Art and Scroll Studio at 7 pm MDT. Registration is free at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carol loves nature and being outdoors, so she works in her sketchbook as a catalyst for her paintings, often painting on location and creating the final works in the studio. Her painting style is somewhere between representational and abstract. She sees colours where others do not and finds patterns everywhere – in both nature and human creations.
“I am interested in how our past experiences influence how we see,” says Carol. “Memories are fuzzy and jumbled together in our minds, but they leave an impression that marks us forever and impacts how we see. As we move through spaces we sense familiarity even in places we have never been before. Our memories reinforce our visual impressions and carry meaning with them. My landscapes strive to trigger the viewer’s memories of lived experience.”
Carol Neiger graduated with a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980. She is a painter and printmaker primarily focused on exploring the connection of memory and place. Individuals bring their own experiences — both known and buried memories as they experience place. Each work is created with the hope of connecting to individuals through her art, and evoking meaning in the viewer’s own memories.
Carol’s style is characterized by the use of layers, split plane composition, patterns, a vibrant color palette, and a painterly style. She paints in oils and watercolor and has worked with various methods of printmaking. Most of Carol’s prints are monotypes; painting, rolling and/or removing ink directly on printing plates which are transferred to paper to achieve layers of translucency that create a quality of light very different from a painting on paper.
She has been led to wonder about how Judaism survived and how we as Jews, relate to “place” and “home.” After the destruction of the Second Temple, Judaism became a “portable” religion as the Torah replaced the Temple as a sacred center. European Jews have been exiled from 109 locations since 250 CE. Since there were periods when Jews lived in harmony with neighbors, each of these expulsions led to intense learning and writing in order to understand the catastrophes.
Her never-ending love affair with water is an attraction to color, surface, pattern, reflection, and movement. A lifelong lover of swimming, kayaking, walking and even just sitting by water brings her back to myself. Whether observing a solo kayaker at dusk or an endless horizon of lily pads forming patterns, She is drawn to it.
“Walking in the woods brings fascination along with some fear of the unknown. Painting this endless complexity of texture, depth, pattern, builds into mystery with its distraction and dimension. There is beauty in finding the big picture, and there is a sort of random structure, but underlying it all there are countless tiny chaotic or ordered permutations.”
Carol in enchanted by gardens as places of healing, refuge, and peace of mind. She sees it as a haven, an island of space separate from life filled with work, schedules, and deadlines. She sees a seed in her hand imagines the life that will emerge from it. Holding a seed and burying it in the soil, then checking with anticipation as the first glimpse of green emerges from the rich earth reminds us of the power within each of us to make, create, build and mold—and how, even with that power, we have to accept the imperfection and accidents that happen through nature and learn to embrace them. Nature is both beautiful and scary, ordered and chaotic, but one thing is certain—we cannot control it.
Shelley Werner is the host of Art and Scroll Studio zoom series that celebrates the makers and creators of Judaica Art. Their upcoming episode is Wednesday Nov. 2 at 7:00 pm MDT featuring artist Carol Neiger.
Register for advance free tickets at email@example.com