A contemporary realist, I work in the wonder of people and place.
Ennobled by a reverence for real presences, I seek a warm path between cold nostalgia and overwrought novelty. Having passed through the wilderness of addiction and recovery, I am still reclaiming my way forward -- heartened with Hope, my eyes colored by a vital realism.
Meaning and Beauty are stubborn, moving, persistent. To listen well is to greet them, to see them through -- to welcome them into every furrow of my labors.
A Southerner by birth and by residence, I am attuned to the discomfiting divides in religion and race, where thresholds of meeting have often become boundaries. Attempting to fashion reins from the twin cords of imagination and craft, I seek to harness compassion and truth-telling in works that defy small yields: works that reinvigorate.
Striving for more than mere technical prowess or self-expression, I desire to communicate: to represent moments of human being and relating as splices from a larger narrative, freighted like parables. To practice stillness and reflection in the midst of our frenetic culture is an act of preservation as much as defiance: a reckoning with our corporate distractedness and dismissal of the soul.
Having witnessed the large scale frescoes and figurative paintings of my teacher Benjamin F. Long, IV, I experienced the storied power of pictorial creation firsthand. Enchanted by the medium of oils, I now look to enlarge my own work to a fully human scale: to create images that take up the particular and the local sacramentally, slowly pulling every edge towards wholeness.
Nathan Bertling (b. 1974, USA)
Bo Bartlett Master Class, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA, 2016
The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas, Asheville, NC, under maestro B.F. Long, IV, 2002-2008
Furman University, Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies, cum laude, 1996
2018, Passing Through, solo show, Metropolitan Arts Council @ Centre Stage, Greenville, SC
2017, Open Studios, Greenville, SC
2017, Something in the Squares, Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville, SC
2017, Open Studios Retrospective, Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville, SC
2017, ARTISPHERE Artists of the Upstate Juried Exhibition, Greenville, SC
2016, 10 x 10 = 100 Challenge (invitational), Greenville Center for Creative Arts, SC
2016, Open Studios, Greenville, SC
2016, One Square Foot, Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville, SC
2016, Looking Forward/Looking Back: A Fresh Look at Contemporary Still Life in the Upstate, BJU, Greenville, SC
2016, ARTISPHERE Artists of the Upstate Juried Exhibition, Greenville, SC
2012, Emerging Artists Spartanburg, Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg, SC
Turner, Ariel: “Opening New Doors,” Greenville Journal, November 2016, p. 28
Crawley, Ciaran: “Looking Forward/Looking Back: Celebrating Still Life,” The Collegian, BJU, Vol. 30, No. 4, October 2016, p. 1, 4
Works held in private collections in Scotland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.
2017-2018, Drawing Instructor, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, SC
2017, Brandon Fellows Mentor, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, SC
2006-2008, Portrait Drawing Instructor, The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas, Asheville, NC