Nihal Kececi works in acrylic, oil and pastel at a large scale. She has been generating a consistent body of work as a professional artist and taking classes at the Washington Studio School in Washington, DC and the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery in Glen Echo, MD since 2004. With previous background in engineering, she knows how to model complex systems precisely and objectively, but painting has transformed her approach and provided the insight she needs to create complex and evocative artwork.
Born and raised in Turkey, Nihal started drawing and painting at a young age. Despite her demonstrated talent in art, she studied physics and nuclear engineering and worked in the software analysis field in the U.S. and Canada. In 2003, one of her mentors recommended that she devote herself exclusively to painting. Over the span of her career as a professional artist, she has experimented both with premeditated and spontaneous painting processes.
Creating a pastiche of light and shadow, Nihal often uses just a palette knife to apply paint to the canvas. She depicts a fragile but boldly expressive interplay between analysis and emotion, concealing and revealing her subject at once. Whether painting whirling dervishes, dramatic landscapes, or impressionistic figures, Kececi masks the known with the unknown and explores the transcendental.
“Through my intuitive painting process, I have learned self-transcendence. This approach encourages me to let go of preconceptions and just react to what I see developing on the canvas. My work is about hope and emerges as a response to an accumulation of sensory experience and visual memory over time. I believe my paintings awaken the analytical mind and poetic soul simultaneously.”
Over her prolific past six years, Kececi has amassed a body of over 500 paintings. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in over 65 shows, including six solo exhibits and 17 juried group shows in the U.S. and Canada. Her work can be found in over 55 private collections, including Michel and Anne Vidard, France, Mariska Breland Washington DC, Patricia Ann Bennett VA, Peter LaCava, Trilacon Development Corporation, CT USA, Gail Schraishunk, Denver CO, Mary and Sing Bajwa, MD, Nancy Quynn Las Vegas, Diane and Dick Courtnet MD.
She is a member of the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery at Glen Echo, Maryland, The Washington Project for the Arts in Washington DC, and Contemporary Art Network, New York NY, Del Ray Artisans Gallery Alexandria, VA, and Museum of the Americas, Doral, FL. Each year, she sponsors and sits on the jury of the annual Washington, DC Turkish Festival Kids Art Contest. Nihal lives and works in Bethesda, Maryland USA.