Portals: 
Nicole Myers
June 2021

Artist Statement:

Years ago, when I first visited Fredericksburg, I, like so many, fell in love with the undeniable charm of the downtown’s historical architecture, pretty little shop windows and romantic lantern-lit streets. I was particularly charmed by the variety of personalities in the doors that line the streets and alleyways. Like pretty covers to books as yet unread, they were enticing, intriguing, and begging for examination. But unlike books, doors pose a paradox to me. Though they may intrigue and draw you in, they serve primarily as barriers; simultaneously, a greeting and a barricade. I think paintings serve as likewise paradoxical portals: welcoming you in, but leaving you barricaded by “mere impressions” of the destination.

And so, there are ultimately two conflicting but related motifs juxtaposed in my collection: landscapes and doors. I’ve intermingled both because they seem to beg me to visit, to stay a little longer. I hope this connection will influence the viewer to feel the same.

Settled upon my theme, and cooped up in a pandemic, I began to create and count myself lucky, because in beginning to create, I inevitably began to travel, or retravel, anyway. Painting allows me to revisit fleeting memories of sunsets and seasons long gone. I experience every inch all over again, reliving the colors of the clouds, the movement of water, the romance of the scale of space. I find myself awestruck in wonder again and long to linger for a bit in the lights and shadows of the places that had been long confined.

This show consists of images from some of my most favorite travels along the East Coast. The Outer Banks of North Carolina, which will always hold a special place in my heart and in the hearts of my family, feature prominently in my collection.

“Time and tide wait for no man,” Chaucer once said. Time marches on; the sun sets on passing seasons and rises to mark endings as much as beginnings. Doors to times and places close, destinations are shuttered in memory, as new and separate realms unique to the traveler. These I reopen in paint. These paintings are my portals; they were portals during production and remain so in their final state. I hope they can be portals for you as well.

Nicole Myers holds a BA and MAT from Christopher Newport University, and has been a high school Art teacher for the last ten years. She is a published children’s book illustrator preferring to work in traditional 2D media, most especially paint. She resides in Fredericksburg with her family, travelling when she can, and if not in reality, then on canvas, as often as possible.