About Nancy

Call me an optimist, but I believe that art can heal. Man has the powerful ability to dream, to create better worlds and new realities. And images play an important role in this. I paint with the conviction that my images can heal.

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Stillness in Art

A recent inquiry regarding the idea of stillness in a work of art got my thinking juices flowing. For me, stillness is when we allow ourselves those moments to be connected to our higher self, or a higher place or source. This connection allows us to leave the realm of physical, material, emotional and instead flow into the universal vastness of “God” (or our own concept of the nonphysical). When we have this connection to our true source, it feels like stillness as we are in a timeless non-physical realm.

True stillness in a work of art comes from the artist and their process – when both are also connected to this higher source. Stillness in a work of art will rarely, if at all, come from a process that is overly mental, overly emotional and too thought out or controlled/contrived. That means there are no real tools, techniques or formulas that would allow this powerful connection to come through the work. Instead, overly mental processes, pinched off from source, create a blocked type of static. A painting is 2 D which by itself encourages a stillness, a time away from the normal reality viewing of our physical world, and propels the viewer into an alternate reality. This is a 2-way street. Artists can make the best work possible, and yet unless the viewer allows a certain amount of time and focus for viewing it, could miss out on all the rich potential in a work of art. So the stillness in a painting requires the connection of the artist in process as well as the viewer.

Reader Comments (7)

My husband and I share your thoughts on life and art. I am also an artist, will have a website up soon. Working on that right now. Thankyou for your helpful information on art techniques. Very helpful. Stay in touch would love to hear from you.

April 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterartbydesign

art is our life...
good luck !!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrocky

It's very pleased for me to find your blog through Google. I am a young painter from China. My website is: I started to learn painting at the age of fifteen. From then on, I keep on improving my painting skill day by day. I always believe that I can be better. I am also doing the business of oil paintings now. There are plenty of helpful information on painting techniques in your blog. I think, I can benefit a lot from them. Thank you so much for sharing with us your wisdom.
Best regards,

May 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

A painting I completed in May has that quality. I have received several comments on how "powerful" the painting is etc, on Facebook
I started out with an idea and lost that in the work, and went off in an unpredictable direction, new to me. I felt spiritual energy at work directing me, or, to use the word Nancy uses--stillness. In my disconnection or stillness in my studio work space in a rural location I was able to connect with my materials via an energy that I do not command.
Daily I do light a votive candle before an image of an ancient goddess, and sometimes burn incense...
I am unembarrassed by this, after living as an expatriate in a few Asian countries and seeing this
done before a variety of gods and goddesses by many...
Nancy, did you move from NYC to New Mexico? If so, it seems like a good move color-wise in relation to your work. Good luck& best wishes in your new home!

June 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarie Kazalia

Art has been my life and I totally agree about what you said having this "being together with your inner self". I think that this is really where we draw our creativity.

Nancy, your thoughts on stillness are "priceless," as they say. As an art therapist, I know this well; however, you've stated it far more beautifully and accurately than I. Jackie

July 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline

Your post is quite amazing and interesting.Getting a lot of useful information and funny

June 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlandscape painting

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