Before finding his home in the arts, Curney Nuffer was adrift, longing for purpose. First drafted into the army, placed into the military police, it was only after taking a personality test that Curney discovered his true calling – artist. “I began drawing and painting trying to developed my skills, and started teaching an art class which grew and grew.”
While Curney credits Marjorie Perrin and Eloise Atkinson for his early training, it was his discovery of Russian art which captured his true affection and attention. Over the years, his artistic style was influenced by fellow Russian contemporaries. “I have studied with some Russian painters and they have a way of seeing that is unique. They taught me not to focus but to keep an open vision and they never stop searching for the right color.” Curney has visited the Republic of Georgia many times to paint and made lifelong friends in the process. While he cannot currently travel, he enjoys painting with a friend who owns a gallery in Charles City and whose son trained at the prestigious Surikov Institute in Russia.
Though Curney enjoys every subject matter he has found, since the pandemic began, it is landscapes which pique his interest. Painting en plein air and escaping the chaos has become his meditation of sorts. While he spends most of his time along the James River, he searches for an area he wants to paint, considering the movement of the sun. “I believe there is no substitute to painting from life. Would you rather watch a movie about falling in love or fall in love yourself?”
Since finding his calling, Curney is trying to learn to be grateful. “Trying to achieve anything is based on ego, and can cause a lot of suffering – so try and be grateful and keep trying. Even if the painting doesn’t work out, it’s always good to feel the sun on your face.”