Muncy artist’s Bald Eagle Mountain paintings on display in Herdic Lounge
Local artist Nella Godbey Storm will grace the walls of the Herdic Lounge with new works in oil, through the entire month of October at the Peter Herdic House Restaurant, 407 West Fourth St.
Storm’s show is her attempt to capture Bald Eagle Mountain in its majestic form high above Clinton County. The mountain is the subject of almost all of her paintings.
“I am astonished how many people don’t really notice it as the splendid, silent, beautiful, natural wonder it is,” she said. “Color on the mountain can change dramatically in seconds, especially at sunrise and sunset. Most people say it is green or blue, and of course it often is, but atmospheric conditions can produce startling colors: magenta, orange, soft pink, rose and silver.”
Storm’s goal with her work is to make people see in awe and wonder of the beautiful place they live under the shadow and majestic elegance of Bald Eagle Mountain and to make people see what is really there — a huge multi-colored mountain that changes with the hours, weather, season, and cloud coverage.
“Get up at sunrise and you may witness a mountain that changes color and often patterns every 20 or so seconds if you are lucky,” she said. “Love of country means many things but surely love of this beautiful place must be part of it.”
Storm believes that a good artist can work on many different media: buildings, sculptures, paintings, and even hats and shoes. Many galleries today want artists to be one-dimensional. She is not.
“I’ve worked with goldsmith Rick Mahonski, architect Jeff Gilbert, and Redware maker Selinda Kennedy, not to mention potter Vance McCoy,” she said. “I’ve done colors for over 600 building interiors and exteriors. Our home was used in Colonial Homes magazine and recently in the Sun-Gazette spring edition of the magazine.”
Storm has also done colors for museums and historical societies and for homes and buildings on the historic national trust. Her mosaics have been used in Dunkin’ Donuts shops and judges’ homes, as well as in a state representative’s home, and her batiks are in churches and in Switzerland.
“I try to follow the example set by the Renaissance artists of never shying away from a media or an idea,” she said. “My Madonna and child mosaics are in a church in South Side and in the Polish Pope’s Women’s shelter in Poland.”
At the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Storm received the National Coalition for Education in the Arts Award, the highest award the state gives for art education. She has taught in public school K-12 and in college at Penn State, and has spoken as a guest lecturer at numerous colleges and universities. She has also taught advanced adult classes at the Art Alliance of Central PA in State College.
Traveling to Europe more than 20 times, Storm often stays for six or eight weeks. She spent four months there after graduating from Penn State with an honors degree and a master’s as well. She has also visited China and various islands, including the Dominican Republic, where she did an installation of one of her mosaics.
She lives with her husband, artist Bruce J. Storm, in an 1810 stone house in Muncy. Their love of country is reflected in their work, but they don’t wish to just copy it.
“That can be done with a camera and neither of us work from photos,” she said. “My goal is to extoll the beauty, romance, glory of the nature that surrounds us and make people more aware that we need to maintain and preserve this historic and verdant place.”
She recently completed a successful painting show in Maine, where she is showing her works from collections in France, England, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, and Canada, as well as across the United States. Storm’s work is featured in museums, historical societies, and university collections.
“All my work is done on location, so I am often standing in fields or next to the road doing paintings,” she said. “My paintings are on board, canvas or paper and in acrylic paint and my style is in the Impressionist and Expressionist. The Impressionist style is one of emotion and observation and I found it very appealing. My work often boarders on Expressionism.”
Each of Storm’s paintings is freshly done on location until she gets too cold or hot or wet.
“Muncy’s Historical Society has a painting I did in a snowstorm,” she said. “Not my best idea but one heck of a good painting.”
Over the years, Storm’s home has seen many artists, foreign professors and students, thus giving her a broad cultural vision.
“I do not know what my work will look like went I start it, as it is a journey,” she said, “but I always know how it will feel. I want the owner of my work to feel better each time he or she sees my work. I want them to look outside or say I am fortunate to live in this amazing place under that grand Bald Eagle.”
Storm will also be featured in the Muncy Historical Society’s show Nov. 8-9 at the Methodist Church community space in Muncy. The exhibition is a fundraiser and will host many national artists. For more information about either exhibit, visit herdichouse.com or muncyhistoricalsociety.org.