Seeking a Unicorn: Purity and Truth in Painting


Just as the unicorn is elusive, purity in art is equally so. Nancy Janine Thibert’s paintings record her effort to express the purity of what she sees in the physical and non-physical world. She’s learning the style of the old masters, because in her opinion, some of the purest and most truthful drawings and paintings are found in the classical genre. She says:

 Purity is an elusive quality. It comes when the painter finds the truth in a subject, be it physical or non-physical. It often only comes after long and careful observation, when the analytical mind is silent and only the act of drawing or painting is present. Then the truth, that is to say what is actually there, presents itself for the artist to render. The medieval Christian-based story of the hunt for the unicorn is similar. Only when one is pure (virginal) can the truth (the christ) i.e. the unicorn present itself and be caught.

Nancy knows she has considerable practice and study ahead before she’ll be recognized by her teachers and contemporaries as a master classically trained artist. There is much to learn about technique and materials. However It’s a heartfelt dream she’s finally pursuing.

And It’s not a bother that her current work has not reached ‘mastery’ level. It’s an honest and pure representation of where she’s at on her journey. A sign post of as much of the truth as she currently sees, where the unicorn is just on the periphery of her vision.