Location: United States
2017 Bio for Nell Bednarz
Spirit-led artwork of Lubbock, Texas, native Nell Bednarz seeks to honor the Lord, inspired by the teachings of Jesus Christ. With an emphasis on line, she explores the influences of nature, faith, and cultural heritage on our lives. Her current art forms are drawings and paintings, as well as fine art jewelry and assemblage.
Abstraction in nature is pulling the artist into the Spiral Dance, resulting in new works about Creation and "The Shape of Hope" (as inspired by the writings of Emily P. Freeman, in her book "A Million Little Ways").
Bednarz began working with wire doing farm work with her father, Jack O’Briant, mending livestock fences, irrigation gated pipe, and cotton trailers. She learned drawing from school art classes, and her mother Wilma Little initially taught her how to paint in oils when she was 16 years old.
The materials she uses are a natural extension of her life, as close to the land as the metals, stones, chalks, and pigments she uses. She is a member of the Lost Pines Art League in Bastrop Texas, Rockport Center for the Arts (member of the Winter Faculty), Masterpiece Christian Art Foundation, and MUSA International Art Space (2017). Her art is represented by Holland Street Gallery in Bellville, Texas.
When asked what is most rewarding in developing fine art, Bednarz remarks, “My hope is to reflect the Glory and Love of our Creator, to serve Him by encouraging people to seek Him. Teaching and mentoring allow me to reflect His Glory in other ways. We artists are essential to the health of our communities, and stepping out into the chaos after hurricanes (2008, 2017), floods (2016, 2017), and fires (2011, 2014) has taught me that communities heal best when artists help with recovery."
Nell Bednarz’ award-winning work has been featured in membership drives and fundraising efforts for the Arabian Leopard Trust, Audubon Venezuela, VAAUW-International Association of University Women, Nature Conservancy (Texas), Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, NorthReach University (Africa), Lost Pines Art Center, Rockport Center for the Arts, and many local charities. Her work may be found in private collections in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and Europe. A number of her pastel paintings and drawings were juried into the "International Contemporary Masters, Vol.8", published in 2014. Paintings from that collection became part of 2015 International Contemporary Masters exhibition in Las Vegas at Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art. Paris and Rome exhibitions with MUSA International Art Space (2017) included her painting "Butterfly Dance, Circa 1920". Online, she is represented by Artavita (California) and Xanadu Gallery Studios (Scottsdale, Arizona). You can also see her work via Pastel Society of SE Texas website and on FaceBook.
The Word tells us to think on good things -- Whatever is true, noble, pure or lovely, think on such things as these (paraphrase). Phil. 4:8. In painting a subject, I try to think on good things, the beauty of God's Creation, our fellow inhabitants of earth sent as messengers or to give us hope and inspiration.
"Tricolor Heron" is a piece that many of my fellow artists have described as a Masterpiece, and it has received significant awards. I have been blessed to meet this stunningly beautiful creature in nature, and to witness its significance within the Web of Life.
In driving back and forth to see family members in Oklahoma, I take various routes to see nature. The Arbuckle Mountains are full of vistas worth painting, and this sycamore tree made me think of all the folks that just hang on and make the best of their situations, despite the difficulties. Noble indeed.
"Dagger Point" is point of land in the Aransas National Wildlife Reserve on the Texas coast. The struggle of the trees against the elements is palpable and awe-inspiring. It brings to mind the Psalm about humans struggling in nature, and the Lord comes to their aid. The trees are said to sing praises to God, and I hear that praise in this place, amidst the struggles.
Jesus Christ taught us to watch Nature if we wanted to know the nature of God. God our Father is faithful, caring for even the smallest of his creations -- the ephemeral flowers of the field being clothed in splendor. Surely this faithful and loving Father will care not only for the flowers of the field, but for all of his Creation, including you and me.
A Native American dance, the Butterfly Dance, was common among particular tribes, a precursor some have said of the current Shawl Dance danced by younger women. In the early 20th century, the nature of this dance was recorded, explaining that the elder women danced in decorated shawls to remind the tribe of the light and healing touch, the butterfly touch of the women that helped the tribe in times of illness.
This painting seeks to pay homage to the elder women as healers in every tribe and every nation, in every family. Their labor of love and caring for their families and neighbors is essential for our communities. A blessing from God. My sister Dr. Bev Kleiber Grimes, and my cousin Dr. Patti Patterson are among the many women doctors that have inspired me.
Jewelry designed with eternal life in mind, Jesus Christ showed us the meaning of Infinite Love. Taking the symbol of Infinity as part of the structure of each link in this beaded chain, a strong and resilient work is the direct result.
I will be teaching this pattern for a beaded chain bracelet and a set of earrings, as well as other classes, for the 2018 Winter Classes of Rockport Center for the Arts. The center is newly reopened in a different location, after destruction from August 2017 Hurricane Harvey. Find us at Winter Texans Day Open House, January 5, 2018, 106 S. Austin St., Rockport Texas.