About the Artist
A native of Massachusetts, Nancy Sargent Howell attended Skidmore College as an art major, where, having explored many color and design classes, and assisted in teaching a drawing class, she soon fell in love with watercolor painting. "Watercolors don't always do what you expect" , she says, "and although that can be frustrating, it also sends me into unplanned directions which I find very energizing." Although much of Nancy's work is done outdoors, she uses the information that she gathers from plein air paintings to develop studio work that has a more abstract quality. She often uses a method of glazing her work that she calls "prisming". "I don't know where the ideas come from", she says, " but after I had been doing it for awhile, I realized that, as a child, I loved cubist paintings and have always loved jig-saw puzzles." Her prismed work clearly breaks up already existing patterns while also tying shapes together to form unified areas.
In recent years, Nancy has started doing more acrylic paintings and is finding that the combination of all of the water media are working nicely together. "I love the vibrancy of acrylics so that my watercolors are becoming stronger. Many people comment on the fact that my watercolors are not typical of the quieter paintings that they are used to seeing. I'm now a lot more excited about the basic shapes that I make when I plan my paintings and they are helping to create more interesting compositions. I have recently been taking old, abstract paintings and placing new information on top of them, sometimes using collage to add more excitement. Often they have a recognizable subject in them but are settled into a very geometric background. It's always interesting to take a bit of my past and put what I love today on top of it."
Nancy is a much sought after teacher, demonstrator and juror. She holds weekly classes in Scituate, MA and has taught workshops throughout the United States and Europe. She has been leading annual painting trips to Italy since 1989.