I have been working with mixed media and collage for 15 years. Using wood boards (both weathered and new) as a canvas, I incorporate stones, feathers, bark, resin, bones, animal skulls, metal, glass and found objects with acrylic mediums and paints.
I am fortunate to be a musician as well, writing and performing on the piano. Several art pieces have accompanying music.
As I live on a sheep farm with a Ute Indian pictographs on our land, daily walks take me through amazing landscape with micro and macro views of mineral and rocks, the San Juan mountains and Grand Mesa skylines, orange and green lichens, pinion pines and cedar trees. Through the high desert air, crow, hawk and vulture circle in the sky. All of these are sources of inspiration. I feel like I cannot possibly capture where I live, but rather must interpret the sensations from the landscape, much as my music does by improvising on original and borrowed melodies.
Each painting is unique and is composed of material I have found on my walks. Some pieces have music, some have writing--some have both. Each piece is a story, some more obvious than others. For me, interpretation is the joy in all art.
Before moving to Colorado, I lived in Milan, Italy for ten years and that experience helped create my aesthetic as an artist more than anything taught in school. For one, I have been humbled by my exposure to great art and classical and jazz music. I understand my place in the hierarchy of the arts and am not trying to be more than my slight talent. I also learned from living in such a large city that there is beauty in a view of a factory as well as in ‘perfect’ natural landscapes. My preference as I grow older is isolated countryside but I can still appreciate the perfect noise of city energies.

Lastly, what we as humans assign value to, be it money or rocks or cars or a feather or jewels or a good hair day, is arbitrary. I have given differing levels of value to all of the above at different times in my life. It’s all good. We all experiment.

                                                                                                       Sylvia Van Nooten

Working, Walking and Art

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