Artist’s Spotlight – Nancy van den Boom

Today’s Artist’s Spotlight features talented painter, Nancy van den Boom! She and I took part in an artistic challenge last year, and I was always blown away by the texture and expression of her pieces. Enjoy the behind-the-scenes look at her craft.

Nancy_Artist Photo

Roaring Out: How long have you been creating art and in what types of media?
Nancy van den Boom: As a kid, I was drawing all the time, like my Dad did. I looked at him a lot when he was sketching in his free time. I am painting since 2009. Before that I did clay modeling and filming. When I discovered painting, I was hooked! I used pastel, too, and acrylics.

RO: What first inspired you to art?
NVDB: Is it ok I answer I just love to paint? It is part of my system, my life. It’s my passion. I have to pick up that brush and paint! It makes me feel good. That is inspiring!

IMG_6214RO: What types of media are your current favorites and why? Is there a different type of medium that you would like to try in the future?
NVDB
Oil paint is my favorite type of medium. I feel most comfortable with it. Lately I am working with acrylics too. It is so different.

RO: Could you please talk a little about your creative process?
NVDB: I look outside, and I think the light is wonderful, or the skies are dark and tempting! I decide to paint outside! Nature and being outside are big inspirations.

I prepare my “shopper on wheels”! I need to take a lot with me: canvasses, paint, medium, brushes, cloths, field easel. Oh and I need to take something to drink and eat too! I wear my painting coat, which looks like an abstract painting after 2 years of painting outside. I am very fond of my coat! I am getting impatient, the paint is calling me….

IMG_2082I take my gear in the car and start looking for a good spot to paint. It is lovely to do that search and when I find the right place with an interesting composition, I  get excited and put the easel up in the field. I prepare the palette, looking at the landscape and sky. Outside I work quite fast actually. I use a big brush to keep it loose and quick.

Painting a portrait is a lot different of course. I paint a portrait from a live model or with a picture for reference. Preparing a portrait starts by sketching with charcoal, but quite fast I take the brushes and paint! I like to find out during painting and not filling in a sketch. With portraits I build up the painting more than painting outside, but mostly I paint wet-in-wet, which means I paint the scene or portrait in 1 session. Sometimes I work on the painting some more in the studio, when the paint has dried a bit. For certain parts of the painting, that is better possible when it is a bit more dry.

RO:. What is the longest time you’ve spent on a piece of art?
NVDB: I think when I got my first commission on a portrait of a family, consisting of 5 people. It was quite big, 120 x 100 cm.

I wasn’t very experienced and it was quite a struggle but I enjoyed it a lot. I worked for 10 days on it. Very different from painting outside, when I work about 2-4 hours maximum on a painting of about 30 x 40 cm.

BaaiRO: Your paintings are so vibrant and wonderfully textured, whether they are the result of you painting outside or in your studio. Do you find you that you have a preference for painting either indoors or outdoors?
NVDB: Painting outside I prefer definitely! Being outside, in the space where we live in the Netherlands. Often I look for a lonely place. It is just wonderful. Standing in nature, choosing my subject, seeing the sky changing all the time, and the light is wonderful. And then, on top of that, paint what I see!

RO: What is your favorite subject to paint? Is there a particular subject matter that you would like to paint more of?
NVDB: I like lots of subjects to paint: animals, people, landscape, interiors, still life. I would like to paint more of portraits, landscapes, seascapes, dogs, ….. 🙂

RO: Is there anything handmade that you own that is particularly meaningful to you?Drie-palen
NVDB
I own handmade pieces of my family: my kids, my parents, my father in law, friends…I cherish these works. I collected quite some during the years. In December, we added a wonderful impressionistic work by Hans Versfelt to our home collection.

RO: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
NVDB: End wars and starvation, for obvious reasons.

Brug-over-de-DeijeRO: To conclude, what is a lesson you have learned from creating art that you would like to share with others?
NVDB: I have to be patient to prepare before I start painting. Often I start too quickly (passion!). When I prepare the composition with more attention, or look better at shapes and colors than I thought I was already doing, it improves a lot. It’s all about looking hard and taking time to be at the spot where I am. That is just wonderful in itself already!

Thanks for sharing, Nancy! If you’d like to see more of her artwork, check out Nancy’s website and Etsy shop.

An Exercise in Observation

About two weeks ago, I was sans car.  It was in the shop for some lengthy repair work and I was bumming rides to and from my job.  One evening after work, I decided to do a little exploring.  So I took a walk to the library (I know, wild times, right?).  But the walk ended up being more than picking up some books and getting some fresh air.  I noticed so much more than I usually do when I’m driving down the familiar few blocks to the library.  As soon as I got home, I made a list of all that I had seen (well, what I could remember anyway).  I thought I’d share my journey with all of you:

– Paw prints in one block of sidewalk cement

– What looked likea discarded lotto ticket with “crossword” written across the back

– A new art studio named “Elements”

– A somewhat hidden street I never noticed while driving down the main drag

– A store I previously thought was a gallery.  It was actually an antique store which also happened to sell art.  I saw a huge record player on sale for $250.00.  Not gonna lie, I was tempted to buy it until I realized I have no vinyl (nor a spare few hundred bucks to splurge).  But it looked so cool!  The last time I played records I was a tiny tot living at my grandmother’s house.

– A house with these cool, cracked crystal ball walkway lights (Yay alliteration!).

– A group of older women sitting on the porch talking.  I know this may not sound all that fantastic, but as I walked past them, I was able to appreciate the sound of their language– Arabic, I think.  I could smell their decadent perfume.  It reminded me of my grandmother when she used to have friends over and they would chatter grown-up talk in Spanish for hours.  I’d play amongst them and let the slick, familiar syllables roll off me.

– Artwork outside a small, local music venue.  There was this piece that really struck me.  It looked like a screaming face and it was made out of bits of magazine pages.  It was such an impressive, cohesive piece….must’ve taken hours to make!

– A silk screen printing shop

– A large Italian Ristorante I never noticed before even though I drive down Main Street all the time and have lived in my town for two years.  Now I want to try it.

– The familiar, speckled, uneven pink brick wall that leads to my apartment complex.  I noticed how unique each brick was with its own grooves, its own specks of brown and silver.

– Tiny plants grew above the grass next to the wall.  The plants looked like baby’s breath, but one was a tiny daisy– a curious hint of spring at the end of summer.

When I got home after the walk, I noticed that I got a big bug bite.  For the record, it was totally worth it.  I’m hoping to take a photo walk down Main Street soon when the weather gets a bit cooler.

What about you?  What are some cool things you have observed on walks or hikes?