Artist of the Month Nathan Pinnock sees a person’s face as a fascinating landscapeSep 03, 2022 01:19PM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris
Nathan Pinnock poses next to one of his creations in progress. (Photo courtesy Nathan Pinnock)
By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]
Artist Nathan Pinnock is drawn to uplifting themes including Christmas and religious art. However, it is not the perfection of the human form and face that he seeks. He likes the “reality,” if you will, in us all.
“I love that every person’s face has so much character to it. When I paint a portrait, I feel it’s a landscape,” Pinnock said. “I get to see all the nooks and crannies that have made that person who they are—their smile lines and their character come shining through, so I like about people all the things that most people don’t like about themselves.”
Even Pinnock’s portrait of Christ has more character lines than most portrayals of the same subject.
“I started out as an illustrator, and the illustrator that I loved for a long, long time was Arnold Friberg, who was also a Holladay resident,” Pinnock said. “He used to do paintings of the Book of Mormon. He also did paintings of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Old West. I just loved the character in his paintings.”
The connection with Friberg is clear, so much so that Friberg attended Pinnock’s wedding and gave the couple one of his signed prints. “It’s one of our treasures,” Pinnock said.
He spoke enthusiastically about how famed movie director Cecil B. DeMille found Friberg for help in making “The Ten Commandments.” DeMille utilized Friberg much more than he ever thought he would.
“He is responsible for the look of that great movie,” Pinnock said. “If I could just keep doing what he had done, I’d be a very happy man.”
Pinnock has had some success of his own. He has been exhibited at the Springville Museum of Art, BYU and at the University of Utah.
Pinnock is a Holladayite through and through. Not only has he lived here his whole life, but his studio is in the heart of Holladay where he both teaches and creates his own work.
“I mostly teach oil painting and I do oil painting on wood Masonite panels, but I also sculpt with clay with the idea in mind that it’s going to be a bronze,” Pinnock said.
He takes his love of oils and sculpture into the holiday season. Pinnock has done paintings of Santa’s workshop and Santa walking over the roofs of German villages delivering toys. Regarding his Christmas sculptures, he said, “They’re fun to do.”
Pinnock studied art at the University of Utah and BYU. Additionally, he painted for a summer with artist Greg Olsen, and another summer, Pinnock painted in Minnesota with an atelier, which was basically formal training with a master and about 20 students.
The heart of Pinnock’s artistic drive is simply the desire to generate new work. “I love trying to create something that’s never existed before,” he said.
The full-time artist is also a full-time father of six children, two of whom are artists as well.
Pinnock enjoys living in Holladay. “There’s a great group of collectors in Holladay,” he said. “It’s a great place to live as an artist.”
Pinnock leaves us with this advice: “Everyone should have a good artist in their life, because we are weird people, but it’s a way to get such a rich part of your life fulfilled.”
A collection of Pinnock’s work including portraits, religious art and landscapes will be exhibited at Holladay City Hall for most of September.
If you would like to see more of Pinnock’s work, visit www.nathanpinnock.wordpress.com/.
If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month, visit www.holladayarts.org/suggest-an-artist.