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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Art to the Editor

Art to the Editor

If the above scene seems somewhat familiar to you, it should. The painting was done directly from life, created by the artist from an eighth floor vista in the Healey Library.

Senior Grant Nickerson, who hasn’t even been painting for more than a year, casually rendered this spectacular landscape from the window of the Provost Conference Room in the Healey Library, looking southwest towards The Boston Globe, the roof of which appears in the painting.

Nickerson, a twenty-four-year-old art major at UMass Boston, began his painting career last summer during the Nantucket Light course offered through the Continuing Education Department here at the university. The course was taught by Ben Aronson, whom Nickerson described as, “very influential and informative.”

Nickerson has gained a lot from other UMB teachers as well. He especially speaks highly of Wilfredo Chiesa and Liz Marran:

“They’re very good. They both have a way of guiding your creativity, rather than dictating it. They’re also very articulate and pretty laid back.”

Nickerson utilized the knowledge he gained from the Nantucket Light course the following fall in Professor Chiesa’s Painting Workshop, in which he continued his explorations in landscape painting.

When describing his work, Nickerson is as genuine and engaging as the paintings that he produces:

“[View From Healey] is just a really straightforward landscape painting. I tried to adhere to all the traditional representational painting techniques as far as atmospheric recession and composition are concerned.”

Atmospheric recession, or atmospheric perspective, is an old technique used in landscape painting that gives the illusion of depth by making the horizon line and objects that are closest to it appear mistier, or more washed-out than objects that are in the foreground, the way our eyes perceive vast distances in reality. View From Healey is an excellent example of this old technique.

“For this piece, it was almost a cityscape really, so for the horizon I used a misty kind of purple, smog-like effect.”

Nickerson highly recommends the Nantucket Light course to any aspiring painters. The course, which will be taught again this summer by Ben Aronson, is a three week, in-depth study of light and it’s effects on the island landscape.

“The trip was fun. We had our little spot of 200 acres or so on the island. I’m going to try to go again this year. I have to save up for it though, but I’m definitely going to try to make it the last class that I have to take.

“Bring at least 300 beans though for food and beer,” he recommends.