Brie Noel Art

Magnitude

Magnitude

The series, Magnitude, is an abstracted reflection on the push-and-pull of human policies that govern our natural environment, which I see as an invisible web spinning out and around all things. The 'natural' world around us, no matter how remote or 'untouched' it seems, has been influenced or indirectly placed there by a set of human-led policies dictating where nature can exist, and which type, and to what extent.

This series reflects on this interplay, depicting nature as soft, graceful, almost translucent, dancing in a constant exchange with the shadowy hard-edged forms depicting human intervention. In another reading, the forms representing nature are the strength, the policy shadowing loose and fleeting, floating untethered around the stable, rooted blush-pink forms.

 
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Beginning

This piece, the first in the Magnitude series, was the genesis for an ongoing set of works on paper investigating the interplay between the natural environment and the human-derived modes of governance that attempt to conserve or control it. The underpainting is two floating forms in a blush pink ink, overlaid with heavy shadows that envelop the gentle pinks under their hard edges. This piece is the boldest of the series given the sharp edges of the blue masses, though, in my mind, it is also the most harmonious in its composition.

30" x 22" 
Ink and chalk on white deckle-edged watercolor paper
 

 
 
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Balance

In each series I select one piece that I feel most closely captures the set's underlying inspiration, and I keep it. From the Magnitude series I selected this piece. This is probably, in part, because it's the first finished piece that uses Antwerp Blue, a (now signature) vivid blue watercolor I mix myself using pigment powder I picked up at L. Cornelissen & Son the last time I was home in London. This is also, though, because of the piece's harmony; in earlier studies for this series the darker shapes had strong, sharp edges that cut across the soft pinks. In this piece, for the first time in the series, the blue forms mimicked the rounded nature of the pinks.

This is a closer abstraction of the interplay between human governance and nature than that which I'd managed to achieve in my earlier experiments, and this piece was the beginning of me hitting a stride in the ongoing series.

30" x 22" 
Ink and chalk on white deckle-edged watercolor paper
 

 
 
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Release

The ongoing Magnitude series is an abstracted reflection on how human policy shapes (conserves; aids; impinges upon) our natural environment. The soft mottling of the blush pinks and the deep, vivid pigment of the Antwerp blues are intended to be seen as enacting an ongoing dance throughout the series, in some pieces overlapping, in others, not, but always in conversation with the other shapes on the canvas.

In this piece, as in the next few of the series, the blues shrink, making way for the soft power of the pink underpainting. Each shape holds space in the painting; each shape holds reserved strength.

30" x 22" 
Ink and chalk on white deckle-edged watercolor paper
 

 
 
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Reserve

Of all the work I've created thus far in the ongoing Magnitudeseries, this piece has the smallest amount of blue space. The single mass, floating separate from the pink forms above and below it, is intended to hold power without domination. The Magnitude series is an ongoing abstracted examination of the interplay between environmental policymaking and our natural environment, and the procession of pieces, which I will continue to make over time as I weave through other series and styles, is intended to appear as a dance between the dusty, blush-pink spaces and their vivid Antwerp blue counterparts. 

In many ways this piece pushed me to stop when I want to keep going; I actively envisioned this series' blue/pink exchanges as an ongoing conversation between two equals, yet until this piece I had been treating the pink as an underpainting, the blue as detail. In this piece - stopping at just one blue element, allowing the pink to hold forth - I challenged this tendency. I allowed myself to let softness hold ground, to not always feel obligated to fill up space.

30" x 22" 
Ink and chalk on white deckle-edged watercolor paper
 

 
 
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Strength, Softly

This piece, Strength, Softly, shifts the compositional balance from most of my other work, which tends to be centrally-weighted or weighted towards the frame's north west edges. The conversation between the pink and blue spaces here moves the energy of the piece towards the south west, and the forms hold a fluid symmetry not found in the current series. The lower Antwerp blue shapes turn in towards each other, almost as a mirror, though not quite, in an attempt to invoke a sense of tense stillness.

30" x 22" 
Ink and chalk on white deckle-edged watercolor paper