Lee Ann Brook Fine Art February Artist: Nicholas Coley

Modern Day Monet

An upcoming show about “being present in the landscape” will inspire artists and art lovers alike, with new work by notable Northern California artist Nicholas Coley. Held for the month of February at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art in downtown Nevada City, his show, “In The Moment” will showcase his extraordinary large format oil paintings that have been created outdoors (“en plein air”) throughout Northern California.

Coley’s exuberance for his craft is demonstrated not only in his broad, bold brush strokes of oil paint, but also in his youthful passion when talking about his art. There will be a rare opportunity to meet this artist and hear him talk about his process and experiences while painting out in nature, on Saturday, February 1, from 5-7pm at LeeAnn Brook Fine Art, 231 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City.

Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century, the challenge of working in natural light became particularly important to painters such as the Impressionists, where light and weather conditions were ever-changing. As a painter at a young age, Nicholas Coley resonated with this experience, and sought out schooling where the Impressionists began. What is unusual about Coley’s extraordinary paintings is that they are all done in one sitting outdoors, from dawn to dusk–a feat considering his large paintings often are 60” x 72”.

Born in Connecticut in 1971 and raised in Muir Beach, California, Nicholas Coley studied art at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Aix-en-Provence and at the Marchutz school in Le Tholonet, France. He holds a BA in painting from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and lived, studied, and painted for a year in a Vietnamese Buddhist Monastery in southwestern France.

“Twenty years later, I still paint on location, finding myself in relation to a place and seeking unity with my surroundings” reflects Coley.

A familiar face in the woods at San Francisco’s Presidio, Coley’s art is often likened to the Impressionists and the The Society of Six. He has successfully shown his work at many Bay Area galleries including the SFMOMA Artists Gallery. He was in group shows at St. Mary’s College, Los Gatos Museum, and a solo show last year at the Berkeley Theological Seminary which involved talking about the divine in landscape. He has exhibited and sold his work from San Francisco to Boston for the past 20 years and has just completed his second artist residency in Healdsburg at Chalkhill Winery. He lives with his wife and three young children in Mill Valley, CA.

LeeAnn Brook Fine Art features Brook’s working studio as well as the art of over 30 different artists, plus monthly guest artist shows. Open daily from 12-5 p.m., the gallery is located at 231 Broad Street in downtown Nevada City. For more information about the gallery’s artists and events, visit www.leeannbrookfineart.com