Preface: The Art of Carol S. Nowak

Carol Nowak is an artist and teacher who lives with her husband and two daughters in Philadelphia.
She has received numerous grants and has exhibited her artwork widely.

Artist's statement: My work begins by collecting information. I draw from observation. I make ritual visits. I take snapshots of my imagery and review them back at the studio to better understand them. I use materials that will give license for layering of information. It is essential for me to know my imagery.

The surface of my artwork is often a product of layers of marks. A mark may appear as a symbol, field of energy, pattern, texture, or value. It is my nature to make marks and seems to be a logical and natural way to proceed.

The synthesis of my information is narrative and storytelling. Storytelling is characterized by series, sequence, theme, plot, and the unraveling of information. Much of my work is autobiographical. My latest paintings, prints, drawings, and constructions are not about representation or imitation but rather about the felt quality of the culture and its history. At times I feel it is about archeology, revealing bits and pieces and uncovering things I knew about, places, people, things, and myself. Most recently I feel my work to be more like alchemy, about mixing things up, creating order, and chaos. It is about realizing the magic that sticks in your soul.

-- Carol Nowak