About Nancy...The Journey
I am a fourth generation resident of the rural plains of Northeastern Colorado. With a lifelong interest in art, I especially remember two elementary teachers that encouraged my artwork. While in college, I attended a local artist’s workshop in watercolor painting and was “hooked” on this challenging medium. After receiving my college degree in Business Education from the University of Northern Colorado and later, a Masters in Computer Education, I continued to pursue my art interests while raising three sons, teaching and helping my husband on our farm. For many years, I painted when my schedule allowed and was able to study under several nationally-known artists, including Mile E Bailey, Judi Betts, Tony Couch, Marla Baggetta, Stephen Quiller, Nita Engle, and Irving Shapiro. Over the years, my artwork has won regional, national & state art awards in the mediums of watercolor and pastel. I feel that supporting the art is important to the health of our communities and I am a member of the Art Society, Ogallala, NE; the Wray and Yuma, CO Art Guilds; as well as the Colorado Watercolor Society & the Pastel Society of Colorado.
Strong parts of my watercolor and pastel paintings are color and value relationships and rural subjects. I love to capture the flora and landscapes in the rich saturated colors and the vibrant light of Northeast Colorado by Plein Air Painting as much as possible. In addition to painting and supporting the local arts, I share my passion through teaching. Remembering how I started, I have developed & taught many youth and adult art classes, programs and workshops.
My inspiration and dedication comes from a sense of a higher source. I feel privileged to interpret the mystery and natural beauty of God’s great world through my passion for creative expression.
My Constant Quest
My constant companion throughout life has been fine art. Most of the time it trailed along while I focused on the more important & immediate parts of my life: my husband & the three loves of our life--our boys. Now, with the sons grown up, & my public school teaching career fading, I feel privileged to have reached this point along with my good companions…watercolor & pastel painting. Why has art been such an important part of my life? I have no ready explanation, other than to say that maybe it’s not just something that I do, but an essential part of who I am. It wasn’t something that I could just forget for a while…it has always guided the way I see, the way I think, the way I express myself. It’s just part of who I am!
Fine art & creativity have been a wonderful accent & quest to my life. I love the challenge of a new painting. I love the enlightenment it brings, and I even love, only much later on, the struggles & failures that are also part of the process. For me fine art has been a path of constant development, mainly through the medium of watercolor--I didn’t choose it, it chose me! From some of the first paintings that caught my eye to yesterday’s effort on my easel, watercolor has been my passion & journey. This journey has enriched my life beyond measure; it has given me a focus--a type of spiritual experience without which my life would be incomplete.
The Emphasis of My Art
By reading hundreds of books & studying with artists whose paintings I admire, I have sought to develop my voice, my style. My voice consists of a blend of the tools I use & my personality. On the “nuts-and-bolts” side, my palette consists of pure hues & knowing the characteristics of each. My paper is mostly 140 lb., with occasional use of 300 lb. & either cold pressed or rough, depending on the subject. I love big brushes like the 1” knife-edged flats & the #36 rounds that come to a super point. My subjects are objects that move me, from floral to landscapes to old farmsites, or even the tractor parked in the yard. It is said that artists paint the light, not the object, so even though a multitude of subjects present themselves to me, it is the light that I strive to capture.
The challenge in my paintings is not recreating a subject, but rather expressing the subject and the emotions associated with it in a moving, exciting manner. To accomplish this I mainly focus on composition, values, color and edges. My goal is to show viewers just enough--that single brushstroke that describes the object perfectly--to encourage them to be more than just viewers, but, instead, active participants with my art.