Abigail Wade


My work explores the interaction of man-made objects and nature in our contemporary everyday life. Raised on a rural farm in New Hampshire, I have been surrounded by nature and its ever-changing passage through everyday life. Growing up in an environment where seemingly insignificant changes in weather or season affect what is growing and living, both for plants and animals, it developed in me a sensitivity to exploring nature and the importance of our everyday lives. I moved to Texas to receive my Bachelors in Art-Painting at the University of Dallas, a private liberal arts college. Moving from the rural northeast to the suburbs of a major metropolitan city sparked an interest in me as to how nature and man-made objects interact in a contradictory harmony. I moved back to New Hampshire after I graduated, but I have continued to explore the ideas that began to develop in that time.

During my undergraduate years I was drawn to the early Impressionist painters and how they tried to showcase an instant of time in their contemporary lives. Inspired by this, my oil paintings explore my observations of the momentary occurrence of the passage of time. I look at it through our own contemporary daily lives in things viewed as ordinary and mundane. Walking home at night or driving on a freeway are everyday occurrences. But in those mundane everyday events there is a beauty and complexity that exists through the interactions of man-made objects and nature in an ever-moving world. The world around us is not static. Objects are constantly in motion. Man-made objects and nature are constantly interacting. Colors are shifting and changing and time is constantly passing. I think a lot about time. What is the essence of how we perceive time and what makes up time and those infinite finite moments that collectively make up the whole. What is so precious about those moments. They are full of color and light and motion and then vanish in an instant. I want to show how insignificantly important a moment captured in time really is. To show the movement, the color, the speed, and the innocence of an instant of time through the interaction of man-made, manufactured objects and the natural world.

With this in mind, I have created my own way of exploring and modernizing the Impressionist ideas. My broken and expressive brush strokes push past the static nature of an image and allow it to become more tangible and real. I highlight the process of my painting by building up the paint in some areas and leaving the canvas and underpainting to show through in others. It brings the viewer to not only see an image, but to also see the actual paint and colors that I used. I also use the brush marks to show my own hand in the work and highlight that it is a painting and not a photograph. Although I mostly use photo references, I am painting an impression and an environment not a copy of a static image. I am always observing the world around me and I use the experience of my observations and how nature and man-made objects interact to influence my color choice and the way light affects objects in my work.

Each painting has a main focus or intent. I create and heighten a mood or emotion based on the composition or the cropping and scale of the piece. Smaller pieces are often a more intimate moment, while large pieces are generally a broader point of view in the landscape. I crop the composition to create an intriguing point of view and often to highlight a specific element in the work. My goal is to take an emotion, a memory, an ever-changing moment of mundane life and show its movement, its color, and its excitement. I want to bring it to someone and help them see too, without even realizing what they have to see. It is a living moment of a bygone instant of time that I have trapped and caught in the static canvas.