Nancy’s work is very still, geometric and almost abstract but very much a response to the world around her, and totally rooted in the moment. She predominantly works with oil on board, linen and canvas, and her work has distinct but interwoven threads: landscape, books, still lifes and people. There are references to her teaching from the Slade School of Art but her style is all her own.
Her landscapes are a deep, intense response to ‘big’ country – mountains, snowscapes, lakes – those moments of being under a huge sky with massive vistas that are so much bigger than our human bodies. Nancy aims to capture the moment where we take a breath and release. Her art experiments with iconography: with creating a small, worshipful object of something too big to comprehend and too vast to truly capture.
Nancy draws a strong distinction between her book paintings and her still lifes: in truth her books have much in common with her landscapes, in that they attempt to capture a vast vista in a small icon – the vista of the imagination. They capture the immense potential and excitement of reading and the possibilities of language within their diminutive scale, and reflect on the concept of stillness, celebrating quiet reflection.
Her latest works continue on this theme: they speak of a pleasure in the beauty of the everyday: quietly resting on a book, mugs of tea, scented lilies, splendid foliage and flowering potted plants. The arrangement of things is dreamlike but not surreal, echoing the way our surroundings often become unfocused when in deep contemplation.
Nancy deliberately does not describe her people as portraits. In the same way that she captures what is around her, from the vast landscapes of Utah or Ghana to intense focus on the kettle in the studio, her paintings of friends and family are a response to ‘being in the moment’ with what is around her.