Sunday, January 3, 2016

I Do Believe

                                   "Juliet", 40x30", oil on gallery wrap canvas

Here's the reference photo and the start of the painting. I didn't want her arm to be cutoff 
like the photo, so the hand and arm were created from my imagination which is not easy. 
The hand had to be scrapped off and repainted three times.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." — Albert Einstein

Meet our beautiful little 6-year-old granddaughter, Juliet. This enchanted little spirit exists in a magical realm all her own.  

A true fairy princess, as most days she can be found spun amongst multiple layers of pink taffeta ruffles and netting dotted with sparkles and glitter. Her blonde tresses interwoven with jeweled crowns of leaves, flowers and butterflies, while sequined slippers hug her feet like Cinderella's gracing the ballroom floor. I watch spellbound as she sings and dances in her miniature fairy kingdom built among rocks and bushes in an outdoor garden along side of the backyard pool. She spins in a perpetual wisp of delight picking flowers for trolls and fashioning gifts of shells and moss for a local elf.  

Oh to be young again and see through the eyes of a child where life is an ongoing adventure in a never-ending secret land of enchantment and discovery. What was it that made us stop seeing? 

My painting was from a simple snap shot of her playing outside with the sun bouncing rays off the blondness of her sprite self. I hope that in some way it will always be a reminder to her of the uniqueness and wonder seen through her eyes and harbored in her soul. May she never forget or stop believing.

I do believe, I do believe, I do believe... 

Thanks for viewing my latest work.
nancy

To see more of my art click here, or one one of these additional links: Online Gallery  Email  • Website  •  Graphic Design Studio • SaatchiGallery 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

At Ease

"At Ease", 18x24" oil on gallery wrap canvas
"At rest, however, in the middle of everything is the sun."
— Nicolaus Copernicus

CLICK TO OWN THIS PAINTING

I've been working on this painting for the past couple of weeks. The photo I used was another from the amazing photographs at Vineyard Colors.

I was drawn to paint it for several reasons. First, I am always attracted to strong patterns of light and dark; the colors and somber mood entranced me; while the quiet solitude of resting boats, anchored in trust and faith that the sun will return, resonated with my tired soul moored along still waters at the end of day

William Penn said, "True silence is the rest of the mind, and is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment. For me a day without long periods of silence is a day I was not fully present. "Be still and know that I am God." 

At ease mates,
nancy


 To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art


Thursday, October 1, 2015

I'm Toot'n My Horn


I am honored to have my painting, Shuttered Repose accepted into the Visual Arts Alliance (VAA) 33rd Annual Juried Membership Exhibition. The show is open to the public until November 20, and is located at 1600 Smith St., Houston, TX in the 1600 Smith Street Gallery.





Other wonderful news, my painting, Reflecting at Days End was awarded 1st Place and "Best in Category" in the Conroe Art League's Fall Show.

These announcements have been all over Facebook, but wanted to share with my loyal followers. 

Thank you all for your encouragement and support for 
my work. 
nancy



To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art

Monday, September 21, 2015

First Light


"First Light", 8x10", Oil on Gessobord
                                                           Click to Buy

“Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.” — Rabindranath Tagore 

Today's painting was completed on our 3-day trip to Galveston, TX last weekend. I was on the beach each morning, camera in hand, before the sun had even blinked its sleepy eye out over the wide expanse of somber Gulf Coast.  

With the exception of a few scattered fishermen dotting the horizon in hopes of a catch, I sat alone at the outer-most tip of a jetty surrounded in the hug of darkness, and amid the soft crashing sound of waves gliding methodically in rows of foamy caps to shore. Even the daily winged scavengers hadn't arrived for the handouts left exposed on the wet sand by receding tides.

As I sat quietly waiting for the day to show up, I noticed a huge charcoal-gray bank of clouds lining up center stage, just above the horizon. The sky began taking on a soft pastel glow as the sun started kicking off the massive blanket of sea green it had been hiding under. I sat mesmerized as huge swatches of brilliant oranges, pinks, violets and golds splashed across a backdrop of aquamarine canvas. Next piercing yellow rays, like jabbing arms and legs, began to emerge at the focal point. The intense glow continued illuminating clouds into warmer lighter grays with golden hues that appeared as thin as a veil around the outer-most edges. 

Lighter and lighter the clouds continued to transform until suddenly all were outlined in a bright golden halo of pure radiant light. Spellbound, in that moment, I heard the silent words in my heart, "In spite of all the surrounding darkness in the world, know I am here in the brightness and fullness of glory, waiting." In awe-struck reverence and abandonment, I could only utter, Amen!

Thanks for letting me share my catch of the day.
nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Reflecting at Day's End

     "Reflecting at Day's End" 18"x24", oil on gallery stretched canvas
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"I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude."  — Henry David Thoreau
Gosh, it has been three months since my last post. That's the longest gap in over five years. I feel like I've been serving time in solitary confinement. If you thought I died you are dead solid wrong. I am alive and kick'n, but had to spend the entire summer wearing my other hat, graphic design to make ends meet. Reality check!


Although I had very little time to pick up a brush this summer, I did receive a couple of awesome honors. In July, the Lone Star Art Guild Convention selected my painting, "Shuttered Repose" for 2nd Place in Professional Oil Painting Division out of 17 other art league's winning pieces. In the spring, this same piece took First Place in my local art league, and has since been juried into the Visual Arts Alliance Exhibition in Houston. This piece was one of 66 pieces of art selected out of 456 entries and will be on display until November in downtown Houston in the 1600 Smith Street Building Gallery. 
Over the summer I did do one new painting for a book cover  I was designing. Here is that piece. The author, Sandra Johnson, had taken a photo of a model holding a bouquet of flowers for her cover, but decided the photo was cropped too tightly. Hence I was commissioned to work on a painting that would incorporate more of the figure. This novel is being published by Texas Review Press.
Today's painting (show at the top of the page) is a larger piece that I am submitting to another show next weekend. I wanted to give you a sneak preview. This little dingy really snagged my oar. It was painted from a photo found online by Vineyard Colors. If you are unfamiliar with these photographers, check out their incredible daily on-location images direct from Martha's Vineyard. These folks are kind enough to allow artists to paint from their work. Here is the photo I was working from.
Okay, so that's about all the news I have for now. I have purchased lots of new art supplies and intend to be back afloat as long as my money holds out. 
Thanks for letting me come ashore. 
 nancy 



 To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Monday, June 15, 2015

Vanishing Hoopers

"Vanishing Hoopers" 8x10" oil on gessobord

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry. 
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

— Lewis Carroll

The whooping crane has to be the most elegant, graceful and majestic bird to inhabit our planet. However, they are among the worlds rarest birds. According to Cornell Labs of Ornithology, the Whooping Crane—the tallest bird in North America—remains an endangered species, although it has rebounded from a low of just 15 cranes in the 1940s to about 600 today. Its recovery has been thanks to tireless efforts by conservationists, including Operation Migration, a creative program that helps Whooping Cranes learn migratory routes by leading these avian giants with an ultralight aircraft. Check out this beautiful Whooping Crane Cam from Operation Migration. (Be sure to turn up your volume.)

This painting was a commissioned piece to be gifted to a woman who is a founding member of a whoopers protection organization. I salute you Gwen for your amazing and sacred work.

Spread your wings and fly magnificent Whoopers, fill our longing skies! 
Thank you for viewing my favorite bird. 
 nancy 


 To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


Monday, April 27, 2015

The Beach Boy

The Beach Boy, 10x8" Oil on Gessobord
SOLD 

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." — Mother Teresa

Today's painting is a recently commissioned piece. The photo reference I worked from was 20+ years old and so faded there was very little color still visible in the well worn image. However I have found over time, that if I pay close attention and focus in on each and every individual value shift, adding color isn't really a problem as long as I apply the same values found in the reference. In this reference there were also sand dunes in the background, so using a little creative licensing, I decided to add the cooler blue-green ocean behind this little beach goer for added color and contrast to his sun kissed flesh tones, and to also mimic his luminous sky-blue orbs. 

When I paint a portrait, I really have to completely forget that I am working on a portrait and not even try to think about capturing an exact likeness, or I will freeze up faster than a drop of water landing on the apex of the North Pole. I try to work all over the panel focusing on and breaking it all down into shapes formed by shadows, mid-tones and highlights. Once I am able to isolate a specific shape and value, and recreate that same value, each spot becomes a piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Somehow when I adhere to this limited focus approach, magically a little boy begins to emerge out of the paint. I might not always get an exact likeness, but somehow the underlying spirit and energy seems to rise out of the chaos.

I am not a great painter, only a very insignificant artist struggling to survive in a world surrounded by so many other more talented and formally educated masters. My desire is to disappear into the ocean of my work and experience over and over the tides of joy creating at the foot of the Master. That is enough. 

Thanks for dropping in today!
nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pondering on a Pond

"Pondering a Pond", 12x24" oil on canvas
There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
— Henri Matisse
I literally pause and let out an aah every time I pass by this watery oasis, which sits juxtaposed at the intersection of a major highway and a clover leaf exit off of a farm road, sandwiched between a business and railroad tracks. I've been driving past it for years, trying in vain to figure a way to gain access into this private sanctuary to paint it.

Swearing profusely that she never saw the "No Trespassing" sign until she was leaving, my friend Angela blatantly hopped a fence onto the property to photograph it after I casually mentioned my dilemma. A friend indeed, and to my total delight, the next thing I know she is sending me inside and close up photos of my masked refuge. This shot was earlier in the spring as the morning fog still blanketed the dried lingering remains of last years reeds and the barely visible new growth of water grasses softly emerging from its murky depths. 

How I wish I could live in a little cabin on the banks of this tiny haven and paint her ever-changing mirrored portrait over and over, day after day. I love the way the reeds, slumping over like exhausted guards, delineate the pond into channels of watery reflections of surrounding forest, sky and clouds. What a hidden gem coexisting side by side in the mundane of our busy lives...aah! 

Thanks for viewing my secret botanical garden. 
nancy 

 To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Canals of Coexistence

"Canals of Coexistence", 10x8", oil on Gessobord

"You probably have to have redundant levee systems with canals in between them, like the Dutch have, to make sure that incoming water is channeled off to areas where you deal with it rather than have it drown you."
  Billy Tauzin

This piece was painted from a lovely photograph graciously sent to me by my friends, Yolanda and Bill, taken on their trip to Amsterdam. 

I never imagined the picturesque land covered by seas of tulips and windmills was in fact like another Venice? Evidently, the Netherlands lies below sea level, so Amsterdam survives with the aid of more than 150 canals and 1250 bridges. These channels of water have been central to city life there for the last four centuries.

I would love to visit this city someday and paint these picturesque canals in plein air. I'd
walk the dappled paths of canals along winding streets lulled by graceful arching pathways of bending branches, and breathe in the salty sea air. 

I would guess this was snapped early morning as motionless boats and canal barges rooted to bulkhead, doze in the quiet first break of light. Sleepy-eyed-locals inside the rows of houses along the avenue are most likely sipping hot chocolate or dark coffee from Delft porcelain, while mulling over morning news before heading out into the tangled maze of tributaries weaving through the city. 

I can see this Dutch system of survival as a metaphor for maneuvering through life. The world comes at us in tidal waves of noise, with constant demands, obligations and distraction that tug us in all directions at once. There is an overwhelming sense of being swept away and swallowed by the raging waters. Mind and soul come to the rescue creating canals that divide the chaos into clear bite-size pathways of organization enabling us to float with ease across the choppy surface toward the light of new day. Oh, life is a daring adventure!

Thanks for channeling in today. 
nancy 



 
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Resurrection

 
"Resurrection", 20x16", oil on stretched canvas
"No heirloom of humankind captures the past as do art and language." — Theodore Bikel
Early morning light, resurrecting from night's dark tomb, quietly creeps in through sleepy wooden blinds shrouded in draped wrappings of flowing gauze.  

Suspended from a wire hanger center stage, a ghostly back lit form dangles enveloped in the distinct scent of mothballs. Filtered light sweeps into the room painting shimmery reflections along oak polished floors, while the scene beckons like the moan of a fog horn in search of a traveler missing at sea.

This is heirloom lingerie worn by my maternal grand, or possibly even great, grandmother? I had only recently discovered the ruffled petticoat carefully tucked away in tissue in the attic, when to my total surprise, the camisole arrived in the mail unexpectedly from a sister who thought I should paint it. Who knows, perhaps these two pieces were once a matching set? I rejoiced at the thought of this family reunion.

Hmm, I wonder what our clothing would say if it could talk? What tales and adventures would it reveal? My very proper grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave now that her undies have been immortalized for all the world to see. 

Thanks for taking a peek in today.
nancy


To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Monday, February 9, 2015

Praise For The Morning

"Praise For The Morning", 8x10", oil on Gessobord

"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day."  
— Henry David Thoreau


I am happy to report the gallery show I was in last week was a huge success and packed all evening. And, my Trio in Triptych sold very quickly! It was such a fun night. Thanks to all who attended.

"Sun, sun, sun here it comes." Today's painting was taken from a photo snapped by my 5:00 a.m. lap swimming buddy, Angela, along a sunlit path on one of her early morning hikes around Santa Fe. She so generously allows me the honor to interpret her work in oils.

The sun was such a powerful player in the photo; I decided to try a new approach using thick paint applied with a palette knife. I usually paint very thin, so this was my first attempt to paint with a palette knife. I have to admit it felt very awkward and clumsy, however on a positive note, it facilitated a more abstract piece and added more emphasis in the sky and sun. I had a lot of fun with it. 

It's hard for me to imagine missing a sunrise... the very best part of the day! Thank you Angela and cheers to all lovers of the early-morning light. 

nancy 


To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No. 3 Trio in Triptych

No. 3 Trio in Triptych, 10x8" oil on gessobord
"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." 
— Berthold Auerback

Here is the final panel of my triptych. Somehow showing only the all-female string trio engaged in their music in the first two panels didn't seem complete without someone on the receiving end of their hard work, talent and magic; there's nothing worse than music falling on deaf ears.
Paused seated in partial sunlight, perhaps this man was on his way to the library, judging by the stack of books on the bench? He appears lost in his own world enraptured by the sidewalk jam session in progress? 

Music is a haven for our souls. I believe all beautiful art has the ability to transport us there. Maya Angelou said, "Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." 
Thank you for crawling along with this project. I hope you've enjoyed the journey as much as I have. 


Together all three of the 10x8" individually framed panels create a 24x10"triptych.

YOU'RE INVITED

Please come see this painting which will be for sale in the Conroe Art League's February Art De Musique Exhibit opening Feb. 3 through April 4. All are invited to attend an Artist's Reception 5-8:00 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 6th. The Gallery is located at 127 Simonton St., Conroe, TX. 

 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

No. 2 Trio in Triptych

"No.2 Trio in Triptych", 10x8", oil on gessobord
"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?" —Albert Einstein
As I promised, here is part two of my triptych (3 individual paintings which make up one large piece of artwork).
 
All three 10x8" framed panels will be for sale as a group in the Conroe Art League's February Art De Musique Exhibit which opens Feb. 3 and runs through April 4. All are invited to attend an artist's reception 5-8:00 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 6th. The Gallery is located at 127 Simonton St., Conroe, TX.  
 

Stay tuned for Part 3 under construction and wet on the easel.
- nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


Monday, January 19, 2015

No.1 Trio in Triptych

"No.1 Trio in Triptych", 10x8", oil on gessobord
"Music in the soul can be heard by the universe."
— Lao Tsu
 It's been way too long since my last blog entry. I'm still painting whenever I am not working, but have mostly been focused on commissioned pieces. 

Today's painting is part one of a triptych (3 individually framed panels which will all hang together as one piece of work). I found the reference photo on this very cool site called Paint My Photo. Artists can search by subject and paint any of the photos on the site free. 

Here's the photo reference I am working from taken by photographer Michael Yates. This piece really touched my soul with the passion and energy of these female musicians; and I loved the man-on-the-street camped out enjoying their sounds. I wanted to include the architecture, but decided to crop in tight on the instrumentalists so they would have a more universal appeal. You'll see how I changed up the photo a bit in the next panel coming soon.



All three 10x8" framed panels will be for sale as a group in the Conroe Art League's February Art De Musique Exhibit which opens Feb. 3 and runs through April 4. All are invited to attend an artist's reception 5-8:00 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 6th. The Gallery is located at 127 Simonton St., Conroe, TX. 


I hope you felt the music in my painting today. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Trio in Triptych.

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Little Chickadee

                "My Little Chickadee", 4x4" oil on black canvas panel
"Life is strong and fragile. It’s a paradox… It’s both things, like quantum physics: It’s a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists together."Joan Jett

The most challenging human condition is to live a life that's humble, fragile, vulnerable, giving, and seemingly weak. Yet lives each day, like there is no tomorrow: brave, strong, patient, tolerant, trusting, loving, kind, selfless, and resourceful. 

Great truth is heard from silent, tiny voices.

Thank you for the oneness of imperfection shared by all the members of our human flock. 
nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Heart in Darkness

     "Heart in Darkness", 4x4" oil on black canvas panel
                                                 CLICK TO PURCHASE THIS PAINTING

"We live as we dream...alone..." — Joseph Conrad

Ever feel like this diminutive robin red-breast? He/she speaks to me of the inner strength of human spirit, and its ability to struggle and survive against seemingly insurmountable odds.

We've had our share of whoa lately between a car wreck, flood in our home, two huge dead trees ready to fall on our house...all resulting in major unplanned expenses. A lot of whoa? So I think, until I am reminded of so many others without even a roof, or a warm nest where to lay their children's heads. 

This is the time of year I look around and see how truly blessed we are for so many countless gifts, but most importantly the gift of life itself. This is what the merry in Christmas is about. The very gift of heart that continues, on from where it began in a stable, to burn bright with ongoing life into our surrounding darkness. 

I am thankful for the warmth and support of each of you on this branch beside me. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! 

nancy  

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America


Monday, December 15, 2014

Little Bird Come Sit Upon My Window Sill

"Little Bird Come Sit Upon My Window Sill", 4x4" oil on canvas board

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would by very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best." — Henry Van Dyke

Winter is here and my urgent need to paint birds has once again returned. In fact, I painted three over the weekend. I don't know why I am so drawn to paint birds in the winter months, but do love capturing their little forms all plumped up with added layers of fluffy down.  

Bracing cold and chill from solitary icy limbs and dangling phone wires, these tiny creatures appear so vulnerable huddling together for warmth in single-line formations. Sitting still, like hooded monks in pews at early morning vespers, their holy chants of praise are dimmed only by the numbing roar of engines processing bumper to bumper on the street below. 

I am sure my concerns for these feathered neighbors are amplified after just losing two huge old trees from our yard. First the towering pine sucked dry by thirsty pine beetles in a matter of days, followed by the gnarled and twisted oak that lurched like a staggering old man on crutches over our driveway and house the result of a lightening strike. I lay awake at night wondering how many homes were lost in those fallen trees. Where do those refugees go when abruptly finding themselves and their families homeless? Am I the only person who worries about this stuff?

Thanks for perching here today. I'll be tweeting more birds shortly. 
nancy

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America