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 on 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! 

Thank you for viewing my secret botanical garden.
nancy

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


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Laura Elizabeth

"Laura Elizabeth", 24x24", oil on canvas
"Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They came through you but not from you and though they are with you yet they belong not to you." 
— Khalil Gibran
This painting hardly does justice to my beautiful daughter, Laura. I only wish we'd had the luxury of time to set up a live pose of her draped among loose folds of long white flowing linen, standing before a window bathed in cool Northern light. I could have spent days upon days trying to capture that wild Celtic hair, jewel-like blue green eyes and gentle loving spirit.

Time passes so quickly, a busy mom with two very active teenagers, she works as a full-time high school counselor. Day-after-day she faces one critical or life-threatening situation after the next, listening and responding with heart, mind and soul despite her own debilitating battles and suffering from Lyme's disease. I feel her pain, share in her sorrows, and find gladness in her joy. She is an authentic beacon of light and truth shining in the darkness.

I quickly snapped this photo reference of her in a rare still moment, as she sat on my couch checking emails, most likely responding to a problem with one of the students. I stand gawking in wide-eyed wonder at the incredible human being she has somehow morphed into right before my very eyes. How is it that all of this goodness was allowed to come through me? I am so honored to be her mom. 

Another of my precious children, please meet Laura. 
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, November 30, 2014

SOLD Arctic Fox

SOLD "Arctic Fox", 29x24", Prismacolor on Cranson paper
Polar bears may not be the only Arctic wildlife threatened by global warming. Scientists have discovered the arctic fox also struggles as ice disappears because they rely on the frozen seas to survive the bleak winters. 

A smaller cousin of the red fox, the arctic fox's fur camouflages to white in winter and brown gray in summer. The species can be found throughout the Arctic tundra, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, Scandinavia and Iceland. 

Arctic fox were one of the first mammals to colonize Sweden and Finland at the end of the Ice Age. As the ice retreated they remained in the mountain tundra areas. High hunting pressure led to a drastic population decline in the early 1900s. The arctic fox has not recovered despite protection and most likely would have gone extinct in this region.

The major threats for this fox species are lack of rodents and increased competition from the red fox which take over dens and kill the arctic fox. The increased abundance of red fox in the tundra in northern regions is most likely caused by climate change. With increasing average temperatures, the loss of sea ice, and greater tree coverage in the region predator red fox populations have increased.

   
ARTIST STATEMENT 
My goal in this series of endangered species, created in the mid-80s, was to capture the souls and spirits of our mute neighbors with whom we share the planet. I was captivated and haunted by the frank eyes of all of these creatures, so human in their longing and need, pleading silently for their future and ultimate survival. 

This is the final drawing from my endangered series.  
Thanks for viewing,
nancy 
 
To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Friday, November 28, 2014

SOLD Bald Eagle

SOLD "Bald Eagle", Prismacolor on paper, 29x24"


Forty years ago this strong symbol of our nation was in danger of extinction. Habitat destruction and degradation, illegal shooting, and the contamination of its food source, largely as a consequence of DDT, decimated the eagle population. However, with bans on DDT and the protection of habitat, the Bald Eagle made a remarkable recovery and became a success story in August 2007 when it was removed from the endangered species list as populations recovered. 

Distinguished by a white head and tail feathers, bald eagles are powerful, brown birds that may weigh 14 pounds with a wingspan of 8 feet. They live near rivers, lakes, and marshes where fish is their staple food. Bald Eagles will also feed on waterfowl, turtles, rabbits, snakes, and other small animals and carrion. Their habitat includes estuaries, large lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and some seacoasts.
 
Eagles mate for life, choosing the tops of large trees to build nests which may reach 10 feet across and weigh a half ton. Bald Eagles can live 15 to 25 years in the wild. Breeding Bald Eagles typically lay one to three eggs once a year, and they hatch after about 35 days. The young eagles are flying within three months and are on their own about a month later.

ARTIST STATEMENT 
My goal in this series of endangered species, created in the mid-80s, was to capture the souls and spirits of our mute neighbors with whom we share the planet. I was captivated and haunted by the frank eyes of all of these creatures, so human in their longing and need, pleading silently for their future and ultimate survival. 

Thanks for viewing,
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, November 17, 2014

Brown Pelican

"Brown Pelican", 29x24", Prismacolor on Cranson Paper

CLICK TO BUY

Brown pelican in flightIn the 1970s, the Brown Pelican's existence in the southeast United States and California was threatened by pesticides like DDT and Deildrin which caused the pelican's eggshells to become too thin and incapable of supporting an embryo to maturity. With the ban of DDT in 1972, the population of the brown pelican increased enough to be removed from the endangered list. 

However in 2009, California brown pelicans—a slightly smaller version of the subspecies seen on the East and Gulf Coasts —experienced unprecedented nesting failures, and have starved to death by the thousands because of a sharp decline in Pacific sardines, their most important food. The U.S. sardine famine is now in its sixth year and the production of California brown pelicans is extraordinarily low. 

To learn more see full details in this article by Ted Williams, longtime contributor to Audubon magazine, in the Yale Environment 360.


ARTIST STATEMENT 
My goal in this series of endangered species, created in the mid-80s, was to capture the souls and spirits of our mute neighbors with whom we share the planet. I was captivated and haunted by the frank eyes of all of these creatures, so human in their longing and need, pleading silently for their future and ultimate survival. 

Thanks for viewing,
nancy

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Praire Chicken

"Praire Chicken", 29x24", Prismacolor on paper

The Greater Prairie Chicken, sometimes called a boomer, is a member of the grouse family. Almost extinct in the 1930s, today these incredible birds remain threatened by habitat loss and loss of genetic variance and are extremely rare or extinct over much of its range. 

The male variety boasts prominent feathers called pinnae on their necks, a bright yellow eye comb, and a gular air sack on the side of their neck that is orange to yellow in color during the breeding season. During mating season, males inflate this air sack causing a booming noise, raise their pinnae feathers, and enlarge their eye comb to attract females for breeding. The largest remaining populations are in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.   

Of the three subspecies, Attwater's prairie hen is native to coastal Texas and Louisiana, survives only in small portions of southeast Texas, and is listed as endangered in the US. Another subspecies the heath hen which was historically found along the Atlantic coast is extinct.  

ARTIST STATEMENT 

My goal in this series of endangered species, created in the mid-80s, was to capture the souls and spirits of our mute neighbors with whom we share the planet. I was captivated and haunted by the frank eyes of all of these creatures, so human in their longing and need, pleading silently for their futures and ultimate survival. 

Thanks for viewing,
nancy 

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

 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Trumpeter Swan

"Trumpeter Swan", 29x24" Prismacolor on paper
Here's another piece from my circa 1980s endangered species series. The Trumpeter Swan (Olor buccinator) weighing up to 35 pounds with a 8-foot wingspan are the rarest swans in the world. 

The Trumpeter Swan, while once abundant in the United States, was considered extinct in the 1960s until a nesting flock was discovered in Alaska. However, various states list the trumpeter as either state-threatened or state-endangered. 

Photo: The Trumpeter Swan Society
Trivia: A male trumpeter is called a cob. The female is called a pen and the young of the year are called cygnets.

I am happy to report this painting flew north and resides happily in Maine with one of my collectors. 

Thank you for viewing 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 America

 



Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Walrus

"Walrus", 29x24" Prismacolor drawing on paper

I have been working around the clock with my Graphic Design business leaving me with literally no time to paint. So, rather than lose touch, I thought I'd show you some of my earlier artwork rendered in Prismacolor, a brand name of colored pencil in case you are unfamiliar with the medium. 

This piece is one in a series of six drawings of endangered species I drew in the mid 1980s (not to date myself ). Working with colored pencil is a very slow layering process of building up values and color. I begin with a mid-tone colored paper and from there build up countless layers to the lightest lights and the darkest dark. A piece this size usually taking 30-40 hours to complete.

My goal in this series was to capture the souls and spirits of our voiceless neighbors with whom we share the planet. I was captivated and haunted by their anthropomorphic eyes so familiar in their longing and need, seemingly pleading silently for their future and ultimate survival.
 

The walrus threatened with endangerment twice has made a come back both times with the help of humans. Most people don't realize the walrus plays a vital role in the ecosystem of the waters. Since they feed off of food from the bottom of the waters, their movements allow a variety of nutrients from the floor of the water to be mixed up. Without this happening it is unknown how many different plants and organisms would also be lost to the world forever. 

Thank you for checking 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