Art Fusion: February 22, 2020 Artist: Linda Jo Nazarenus Singer/Songwriter: Bill Hearne

Art Fusion Image for Art Fusion: February 22, 2020 Artist: Linda Jo Nazarenus Singer/Songwriter: Bill Hearne

2-22-20 Artist: Linda Jo Nazarenus

Linda Jo Nazarenus creates richly-detailed oil paintings of wildlife that inhabit places both real and imagined, often viewed in extreme close-up, and set against a backdrop of vast terrain dominated by brooding, dramatic weather. Nazarenus’ compositions are heightened past straightforward representation and veer more toward parable, with the subjects infused with otherworldly qualities and a psychological weightiness which suggest the paradoxical power and fragility of the natural world.

Nazarenus takes her interest in the technical style and mystic/religious significance of the painters of the Northern Renaissance and fuses it with the existential, emotionally powerful work of 19th C Swedish playwright/artist August Strindberg, using weather and dramatic lighting to symbolize inner psychological states. Depicted using thin oil glazes to build up glowing detail, wild creatures—who are as alert to our presence as viewers as they are enmeshed in the struggle for their own survival in threatened environments—challenge the viewer’s notions of wildlife by imbuing the animals with a marked sentience, evoking animal-awareness in the creature’s eye. Nature has taken front and center, replacing people and the God typical of Northern Renaissance Art, elevating the elemental, mysterious energy and power of the Natural world. Attention to complementary patterns unifies sky, fur, feather and land, and alludes to connectedness; while the rare human elements are usually unsettling and serve to remind the viewer of impermanence and hubris. 

Originally from Seattle, Nazarenus has resided in Santa Fe since 2016, after spending two decades exploring and painting the Southwest. She has degrees in Art History and Scandinavian studies from the University of Washington, which have informed her work fundamentally. Along with her interest in the unique history and nature of the American West, she has also traveled extensively to Sweden since youth. She has exhibited with the Harris/Harvey Gallery (formerly Lisa Harris Gallery) in Seattle since 2005. Her visionary perspective and technical skill have made her a valuable asset assisting other artists professionally, and made her a sought-after Scenic Artist in the theatre and film/television worlds. She has painted sets for such performing arts organizations as the Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Opera, ACT Theatre and Seattle Children’s Theatre, as well as on multiple film and television productions in New Mexico.  

Singer/Songwriter : Bill Hearne 

Website: billhearne.com

Bill Hearne calls it ‘The Road:’ that metaphorical ribbon of honky-tonks, roadhouses, empty whiskey glasses, prison cells and unrequited love lined with signposts and mile markers tattooed with names like Haggard, as in Merle, Williams, as in Hank, Owens, as in Buck and Lovett, as in Lyle. Being legally blind, Bill has never actually driven The Road himself, but he sings with such authority of the tales he’s heard while riding shotgun that you’d never know it.

Bill has a whole list of CDs available from the early releases with his wife, Bonnie such as “Most Requested: Best of Bill & Bonnie”, “Diamonds in the Rough”, & “Live at the La Fonda”. After Bonnie quit touring in 2003 due to health issues, Bill formed a trio & quartet and recorded “From Santa Fe to Las Cruces”, “A Good Ride”, “Bill Hearne Trio” & his most recent release, “All That’s Real”. Like the velveteen rabbit in the children’s story, the title “All That’s Real” describes Bill Hearne…he is “real” and he’s earned it from traveling many miles down the honky tonk road. He has a little less hair and his head is shinier these days just like the rabbit. “All That’s Real” is co-produced by Bill Hearne and Don Richmond, a master of many stringed instruments who owns Howling Dog Studios in Alamosa, CO.