Nathan Ledyard creates art depicting waves and ocean scenes using a unique combination of woodcarving and painting techniques that push beyond the boundaries of two-dimensional art. Often depicting a surfer's point of view, Nathan's work captures the feeling of being in the water and a part of the sea.
Nathan began painting in his last semester of college. However, it was only until a few years later, when his friends started getting married and he started needing wedding presents, that his artistic endeavors really took hold. One painting led to another and soon his marrying friends all came to expect one of Nathan's paintings. Having painted everything from animals to musicians for other people, he recently decided to direct his artistic focus to what he truly loves- the ocean and surfing. He painted his first wave in 2011 and has since that time he has relied on the energy and inspiration gained from the sea to create his art.
Nathan has developed his artistic style through problem solving and experimentation. Searching for a way to paint thin enough to incorporate the natural wood patterns without sacrificing depth and texture, he discovered that he was able to achieve both by carving into the wood and adding thin washes of color on top. This breakthrough led to the discovery of other techniques that focus on three dimensions to create natural shadows and highlights. The resulting works of art are realistic yet surreal, invoking both memories and dreams of the ocean and surfing.
“When I think of surfing, I think about being on my board out in the line-up, feeling the rhythm of the ocean, being totally in the moment and in awe of the beauty of the breaking waves. My goal is to capture that experience and share the feeling I get from surfing and being in the ocean. For those who have shared similar experiences, it takes them back to that place in time, while for others I hope to show them something new through my eyes.”