Nancy R's love of art began with her childhood on a small farm in rural Illinois.
Drawing, writing, working on the farm, and riding her Choctaw pony were a part of her
life in the country. As a child, she often wandered the fields and forest with pencil and
sketchbook, drawing anything and everything she could find. Horses, cattle, ducks, and
chickens were some of her earliest subjects.
The artist focused on drawing horses during her teen years, which led her to study fine art
at the American Academy of Art in Chicago where she learned classical techniques of
working from life and painting in a variety of media. She later went on to major in
Geology and Archaeology at Northern Illinois University and the University of Colorado,
and spent several seasons as an archaeological artist.
Nancy went on to study oil painting with noted artists Ralph Oberg, Dan Young, Matt
Smith, Chris Alvarez, and Ken Elliott. Learning the finer points of landscape painting
from these artists greatly influenced her use of bold brushwork, color, and light/shadow.
Nancy still paints from life when possible - she believes it's an exercise that keeps her
tuned in to the true colors and patterns of light, not simply in how a camera captures it.
After a serious cycling accident that nearly left her paralyzed, Nancy's main artistic focus
shifted back larger, more energetic works. The freedom, energy, and movement of
animals in particular inspired her to paint larger and more energetically. Now, most of her
paintings are devoted to these larger, more vibrant works that combine use of bold color
and brushstrokes, all while trying to express the deeper energy of life. Nancy also enjoys
including elements from her ethnic background in her work as well. This heritage
includes indigenous South and North American (Quechua and Fox/Sauk), North African,
Scottish, Danish, and Spanish.