Nance McManus

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Nance McManus, CPS, PSNM

Artist-in-Residence, Avian Ambassadors; Tijeras, NM

 Toute Jolie 72 700


How long have you been painting?

I have been making art as long as I can remember. My mother was a Fine Arts graduate from Stanford and also had a lovely art collection. So not only were we surrounded by art but I used to accompany her to art sessions. Mom used to paint with a group of most wonderful women painters in Albuquerque. She also used to do projects for my elementary school or for the Junior League or great posters for her church. Mom even took portrait classes at University of New Mexico that I would sometimes modeled for.

I notice you don’t call yourself an artist?

Somehow the word artist has come to be applied to all sorts of non-aesthetic things: cooking or driving or…… Also it has been used by dilettantes who don’t understand process and dedication. I am happier with painter or printer as it suggests an art activity that is happening right now.

Where do you get the inspiration for your work?

I love Picasso’s line: I hope when inspiration finds me she finds me working. I am NEVER caught up in my studio. I always have a line of ideas waiting. The good thing about having a queue is that if something isn’t working at that moment I can always stop and go to another project.

What is your process?

I get ideas from all sorts of places: my photographs, driving to a horse show, other art shows or artists, even reading art history. I am very much a person that likes to think about a painting for a few days and then go start it. Many times I think about it longer than it actually takes to execute it.

Plein air painting is something I LOVE to do because it’s outdoors however I am not very good at it. I think that it is good to be forced to work outside of your comfort zone and practice is always good. Even if I don’t like the painting that I have done I know I will have learned something and that there just might be something good in it if I leave it alone for a while and then come back to it. I always like to put paintings away before I think they are finished anyway. A fresh eye is always better. 

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