MEMORIES, studio news
The Sooke Fine Arts Show is the premier juried fine art event for my region, beautifully curated and displaying 385+ pieces of artwork. My painting Between Tomorrow was selected for the poster, to showcase the 33rd Sooke Fine Arts Show and I am so very pleased with the design.
I am honoured to announce that I was the recipient of the Juror's 2018 Designer's Choice Award for "artwork that embodies an emphasis on both technical and artistic excellence by featuring new methods and concepts that are advanced, inventive and displays originality". The painting "Between Tomorrow" (oil-mixed media), will be showcased to promote the 33rd premier art event in 2019 to western Canada, the United States and abroad.
Space and design profoundly influence my work; it is how I see things. The orientation and physical format of the canvas-frame became as important as the brushwork. Presenting a five-foot 'landscape' as a 'portrait', asks the viewer to relate to the paintings on a visceral level; thus eliciting an intuitive personal response and connection between their body and the subject. Compositionally, "Between Tomorrow" is made with two built canvases assembled together, presenting a physical, horizontal seam where the canvases meet. This architectural reconstruction is physical, yet subliminally references both the built environment (manufactured canvas frames) and the horizon line (a fundamental element of traditional 'landscape' painting). It gently stirs the inquisitiveness of the viewer, when blended with the painterly birth of the dragonfly.
Such a very special honour to let you know that the painting 'Carbon Thoughts' has been acquired and accepted into the fine art collection at Royal Roads University, for public viewing. Located on the Hatley Park National Historic site in Victoria, also the traditional lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) ancestors and families; the painting will be permanently displayed with the Faculty of Environment and Sustainability. Royal Roads University excels at environmental leadership and acquired 'Carbon Thoughts' to intrinsically reflect the teaching, learning and research mandate. I am deeply grateful for the honour of knowing my painting may stir the enchantment of nature's wonder for future generations.
A whirlybird key has within it a maple. We experience the teeming aliveness of the seed when tumbling in front of my country's Parliamentary Library and Peace Tower — giving life to knowledge and compassion. Part of the Edging Forward Art Collection, I had to paint what my heart feels and what my soul is trying to understand. Like love, profound beauty can be powerful.
Something else is calling now…an intimacy with Earth. This is a niche in Cordova Bay, on the west coast where Emily Carr used to plein air paint. Instead of one painted image of a 'traditional' landscape scene; I want my panel-paintings to deepen the connection by interplaying perspective, foreground or nature's cycles of time; yet emphasize the smaller, less noticeable treasures. In the distance, flows the ancient sea. In the foreground, sways today's poppies, transforming the seasons. Originally intended for dressers in the Renaissance era, I like the smaller, more intimate scale of panel-paintings, as it elicits a more interactive response. Inspired by the multi-panel design and allegory found in Renaissance altarpieces, this is a contemporary approach to capturing the spiritual quality of nature I so enjoy painting.
SPECIAL EXHIBIT at the BATEMAN FOUNDATION GALLERY OF NATURE
EXHIBITION CATALOGUE: EDGING FORWARD
Edging Forward: Reconciliation ♥ Reconnection ♥ Regeneration
"By responding to themes, legends and fairy tales within each chapter, I draw on relationships and interconnections between our built environment and the natural world. Water — as a symbol of renewal, cleansing and emotional energy; flows throughout the painting series. It is the source of all life. Making up most of the Earth and most of our bodies, water is a conduit between and amongst all species, communities and the biosphere. Painting beyond the conventional boundaries of the traditional 'landscape', my brushes found moments of emotion and wonder expressing these marvelous mysteries. These paintings are an offering that we may find possibility — towards a fresh understanding of being; Love redefined. With our planet deeply seeking care, perhaps this project will stir both our hearts and minds to find meaning and strengthen our connection with the world around us." - Nancyanne Cowell, Edging Forward Art Collection
PUBLISHED in SEASIDE MAGAZINE
SEASIDE Magazine, January 2014 issue, published an article Time Suspended: Dust Motes, Dragonflies and Dandelion Clocks by Stephanie Webb, BA, BFA, MA, Contemporary Art Critic. [..."Many speak about the beauty of Cowell's paintings; however, for me, these canvases are more. Something deeper is implied. For example, in Timewriter (pictured), swirling brushstrokes of deep burgundy vibrate with energy yet are held in check by the areas of blush pink and incandescent cinnamon. These quieter spaces, or pauses, encourage contemplation. Also, the inclusion of other elements and motifs, such as dots and dragonfly, is telling. I am reminded of days gone by — when there was time to watch dust motes dance in the sunbeams, when there were opportunities to stare lazily at darting dragonflies and when I really believed you could tell the time by blowing dandelion clocks — and I mourn my loss of innocence. The dragonfly is a gentle reminder that change is inevitable. Like the circle, these ancient beings are often seen as symbols of transformation and connote the cyclical nature of life."...]
SEASIDE Magaine, 2013 Women to Watch, March 2013 Issue; RECYCLED VASES...IN THE GARDEN - Nancyanne Cowell, Artist. This was an extract, [..."I found this most charming vase in the recycle, and took it home with me. And deep inside, where no one could see, several cracks appeared. Most delicately, I washed the curves with soap and water until they shined. Surveying the garden, my inner voice flickered and listened to the tweak of the creative moment. I knew. I stood the vessel into its place, its home — its new passage to be, residing next to the immortal Iris. I put fresh water and flowers in it every day until the cracks in the surface began to heal. Sometimes the vase felt vulnerable when seen inside, but I would place more flowers in, and fill it with my favorite song. It would be transformed again. It knows it is strong enough for anything."...]
Nancyanne's painting Unveiling Your Voice is on the wall for this featured Victoria home in Y.A.M. Magazine, July/August 2011 edition, with the Feature Article: Custom Homes.