Anna Nightingale’s abstract expressionist paintings are mature, arresting and powerful.
Anna works from two contrasting bases; the fresh greenness of London’s Primrose Hill, and the Mediterranean island of Gozo, with its craggy rocks and sunbaked terraced hills. Both backdrops strongly influence the spontaneous vibrancy and atmosphere of her work, which is equally successful in both countries.
Above all else Anna Nightingale wants to create paintings that people wish to live with. She communicates her sensations and moods in visual terms; the highs and lows, the darkness and light, the dismal depths of misery and disappointment, the joy and ecstasy of new love and the tranquillity that comes with happiness. They are about the excitement of discovering new landscapes, and the thrill of sailing.
Although her work is non-representational, it is highly accessible, as the harmonious expression of her personal experiences. Whistler, the 19th century American painter, thought that art should be harmonious arrangements of colour, just as music is arrangements of harmonious sounds.
“Colour is the most important element in my paintings” says Nightingale. It’s an element celebrated in a variety of media that she combines to great effect on her canvasses; working on a background of acrylics, she adds water-based oil pigments and drawing inks. She pours and spreads the pigments, creating a richly varied range of effects from delicate luminous swirls of pleasure, to dense opaque pools of despair and peaks of joyful exhilaration. Shadowy impasto suggests tumultuous brooding thoughts: “The dark areas of the mind, but they are submerged by the place in my head where I want to be”. That place hovers above, with explosions of pleasure – sometimes expressed in pure gold leaf. “The air there is scented with Mediterranean flowers and freshly cut grass; it’s where relationships are warm and joyful.”