(Nancy in her own words)
Self-taught, More or Less
I spent my formative years in Western MA where I attended UMASS Amherst as an English Major. Like many kids, I enjoyed painting and drawing, but never pictured taking it very far. Then, when I was living in Worcester in my late 20’s, I started drawing nearly every day. I practiced until I got to the point where I wouldn’t feel embarrassed taking a class, which I did at the Worcester Art Museum School. I lucked into studying with Robert Douglas Hunter, a great still life painter, and went on to take more classes, one at a time.
When I moved to Providence over 30 years ago, I accidentally drank from the water fountain on Benefit Street, because I haven’t moved since. I’ve always worked full time to support myself. I availed myself of the Continuing Ed courses at RISD, most of them at night, which I relished; life drawing, portraiture, painting, book arts. Because I’m a part-time artist, my pace has been rather turtle-like, compared to full time painters. Nonetheless, I’ve had opportunities to exhibit work regularly. Eighteen years ago I became a member of the Providence Art Club, where I exhibit and take classes.
I live in the West Broadway area. The view from the front of my home is unlovely, but out back I’ve cultivated a garden where I grow dahlias and feed the birds, including a spirited little Downy Woodpecker who eats suet cakes all winter. In addition to garden plants, I collect hands made in many materials – wood, ceramic, metal. And I also have a collection of bottles, old ones. Sometimes friends dig one up in their yards, and it makes its way into a still life painting. I’m fascinated by translucence and direct painting, rather than using washes or glazes.
And here’s a sampling of Nancy’s work…