Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Moving Forward

As in the title of this silk screen monotype, I am Moving Forward, and- I want to take YOU with me!
Moving Forward
screen print monotype
22" x 15"

This will be my final post here at blogger. I will continue to blog- but at my beautiful all in one new website that is now live.

Thanks for sticking with me!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Shots from Nanci's Open House/Studio Party

It was a picture perfect end of summer evening and from the start at 5 pm on Saturday, September 20, 2014 to the end- and beyond we had a steady stream of friends, neighbors and collectors join Scott and I for my 2nd (I think it needs to be annual!) Open House/Studio Party.
Open Door to an Open House
Here is a tour of sorts with some shots taken by Carlos Hervas.
Discussing my most recent painting, Exhale with sculptor
Stan Smokler and his wife, Madeline Lewis
This is a great room to showcase work. The color of the walls
was inspired by a sheet of hand made paper produced in South America that I have carried with
me since my days working at the Brodsky Center (called the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper
when I worked there many years ago) in New Brunswick. My dining room in our house
in Red Bank was also painted that color. To the right of the wall, outside of
The French doors on the right lead to our backyard lanai and koi pond.
My upstairs studio and office complete with doggie crates
where they like to hang (with the doors open of course)
and another set of doors leading out to our lanai and
koi pond.
Our open floor plan, plethora of wall space, and great
natural light are just perfect for a party! 
Another shot of my upstairs studio/office.
Here I am on far right talking to friends and collectors of my
work (including two new large pieces from the evening)- Karin and Henry Silbernagel.
The evening was a success in every way, and I am happy to say that many new pieces will be going to new homes- and freeing up my wall space for a future Open House/Studio Party at the Okie Dr. Gallery!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Open House/Studio Art Party

Nanci's 2nd Annual Open House/Studio Art Party is just about here, Saturday, September 20, 2014.
The work is hung, the house is clean (ah, love that) and my white chocolate/ cranberry biscotti are in the oven as I write this.
A wall in my upstairs studio,
the painting on the left is still wet!
Curating my work with other elements of my house and studio is half the fun.
Shadow Drawing #10 on the wall
Cool very old chair I've had for a while with
dried proteas from Hawaii that were sent
to me many years ago.
Everything has a story-
and Everything in its Place
And this year, my friend and photographer Jessica Czerwin will be here with camera so I can share the evening with all of you who aren't able to make it.

A Jessica Czerwin shot of Jerry Hodges and I
at my show at Project Space, February 2014.
And above all, what I really love, is bringing people together: artists, neighbors, writers, Scott's squash buddies, fellow guides at the DCCA, parents we met from school, from soccer, and yoga.

Just as materials, images, and stories are layered together to create my work, the people in my life give a richness and meaning to my life, and when it all comes together- Well, now that's a Party!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Coming Together

Ready to party?                   Note to self: More beer.
Coming together- Spring at Last (detail- acrylic, spray paint on canvas
with Fork in the Road, one of my net sculptures and dahlias from
my garden.
That's the sort of aha moments I am having these days as I prepare for my Open House/Studio Party on Saturday, September 20th.  Last year's event was a preview before I delivered my new work up to NJ for Catching Up Exhibition with photographer Catherine Hartigan. It was a wonderful get together- art, food, conversation and enjoying a beautiful September evening. One of my favorite months.
Come check out one of my favorite places, right in my own backyard
I love when people from one part of my life, connect with another, I feel like they should all know and love each other. Often, they do. And I love lists, well let's just say I NEED Lists. I am making my lists, checking them twice, remembering that last year I had plenty of wine and not enough beer.
Getting ready to hang
Putting an isolation coat on a new painting:
Waterfall, 30" x 40", acrylic on linen.
 These are my lists that I have going:
Get the Word Out- Emails, Social Media, Word of Mouth
Get the Work Ready- Finish any unfinished pieces- sign, frame, hang, etc.
Get the House Ready- Get the outside cleaned up (the pile of leftover mulch that has been sitting in my driveway since May or June is now completely gone-  yes!) Spackle and paint - the Terracotta Wall in my Koi room looks so good, ready to hang. That always feels great.
Menu and paper goods- that's always fun, and this year some friends have offered to help, thank you thank you.
and then there are things like-
List of Works with descriptions and Prices so I can let my guest also know about something new I am doing this year at the party.

My earlier work (think Pre- Koi) will be offered at special prices (such a deal!) in my downstairs studio so people will have an opportunity to see and buy work from other series like my crows, Shoe Portraits, Body as an Open Book, art prints from our Butterfly Kisses Book and more.
Butterfly Kiss
from Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you lovehas cancer... a hopeful, helpful book for kids
Archival art print
16" x 20"
And... I have some exciting news that I will be sharing with my guests at the party.

Any questions? or comments? see below.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday with a Thank You

Eons ago I was an art student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY who had the idea of putting up a notice on the board at Pearl Paint down on Canal Street in Manhattan. I figured what better way to learn about being an artist than working for one. So I put it out there in the preeminent place to buy art supplies at the time. 
Shortly after, I received a call from sculptor Ed McGowin who said he was looking for an assistant.
Often I was alone in his studio in Soho working on whatever task he had set out for me,  while other times I was able to learn the lessons that I was not being taught in school that go with being a professional, dealing with dealers, networking and balancing work with teaching.  I watched Ed and his wife, Claudia DeMonte live life large as artists.  Much of Ed's work at the time was creating a physical place or space for a narrative to unfold, either under his given name or any of the 11 other names he legally had created art under. For more on that check out his Name Change Series. Ed continues to work with a variety of materials and media, aesthetically and conceptually. Recently, I came across these 8" x 10" photos he sent me years ago, and I realized how fortunate and grateful I am to have had this experience. Our time together, while relatively short compared to my undergrad and graduate school years has left an enduring impression on who I am as an artist.
Love Story, Inscape  1981
11'h x 10'w x 8'd
with interior tableau, mixed media
I had the pleasure of reconnecting with Ed and Claudia, albeit briefly at the opening Reception in April 2014 of Claudia's exhibition La Forza del Destino at the June Kelly Gallery, NYC. The gallery was filled with well wishers, artists, collectors, critics and former students like myself who have been fortunate to have been mentored by these two generous creative people.
With Claudia Demonte at Opening Reception of
La Forza del Destino, April 2014
June Kelly Gallery, NYC
Ed and Claudia are artists, activists, world travelers and collectors of Outsider Art. Claudia's project Women of the World "posed the question- What image represents "woman"- and invited women in 174 countries to create a work of art that expressed her view of the essential quality of woman." The work was exhibited and then documented in her book titled Women of the World, a Global Collection.

This post is not so much a "throwback" but an opportunity to reflect on the power we all have to teach, to touch and to thank the people who inspire us to be who we are.

Thank you Ed and Claudia!

“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

Monday, August 25, 2014

Request for Attention

Milton Avery, 1960
Dunes and Sea II
oil on canvas, 131.8 x 182.9 cm
Collection of Whitney Museum of American Art
"His pictures were always polite, but they were polite in a way that a man with a gun might be polite. There was plenty to back up his request for attention."

In the book, Steve Martin's narrator, Daniel Franks is describing the work of American painter Milton Avery. While Avery's quiet muted palette and seemingly deceptive simplicity have appealed to me,  Martin's insight into Avery's allure is what packs the punch for me. like wow. 

I am drawn, moved, and inspired by great lines.

As with German artist Egon Schiele's electrifying lines, you can feel the flesh, the posture of the model, as well as the angst of the artist. 

Egon Schiele
Nude women dressing
Drawn to line that evoke a feeling, contour the flesh, or lead your eye- or your heart on a journey

Sidewalk sign at Wild Birds Unltd.
in Hockessin, DE
following the news of
actor Lauren Bacall's passing.

or a memory...

Life Drawing, 1991

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Throw your dreams

Happy Tuesday... loving summer, rain or shine. especially both.
Heartsong, 2014
encaustic, collage on board
all rights reserved

“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”

Anaïs Nin (1903-1977);
author, diarist
Heartsong, 2014
encaustic, collage on board
7.5" x 7.5" Framed

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Asking the Right Question(s)

On the final evening of our summer family vacation to San Diego, CA we took our dinner to beautiful La Jolla to watch the sunset over the water from the cliffs. We happened to look down at the beach at a couple just as the guy was "taking a knee." 
It's safe to assume that she said "Yes!"
Within moments, they were kissing and everyone on the beach was cheering. We all "knew" what the question was.  It's not always that obvious- or simple.

Asking the right questions can bring clarity and understanding to any situation. Whether you are working with a gallery, or hiring a professional to work with you on a new venture.
Carlos capturing first layer of a new painting
This summer I began working with Carlos Hervas to create a short video that I can use to introduce people to my work.  Carlos is a professional video producer and director of television productions at the University of Delaware.

"Who is your audience, i.e. who are you making this for?" was one of the first things he asked me when I asked him about working together. That question feels like a compass that clarifies each point along the way.

He has come to my home studio twice so far to video while I work. This last time he put a microphone on me and asked questions to get me going or dive a little deeper.
A new piece often begins with a new find... I found this net
on the shores of Munson Island when I was in the Florida Keys
with my son Nate earlier this summer 2014.
The skills of writing- and speaking about your work is a powerful tool for artists.  I am finding that I really enjoying the process of working and having to talk about it, in large part to Carlos' thoughtful and insightful questions.

For some great info on where to begin on creating a video about your work, I highly recommended ArtBiz Coach, Alyson B. Stanfield's Blog Post and interview with R. Daniel Foster- it was what got me started!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life is Not a Spectator Sport- Some Travel Tips

Taking a break from my busy summer to check in. I have been painting, teaching, and traveling the past few months. My family and I have been to wonderful places and shared some great experiences, but let's be honest. 

Mama Panda at the San Diego Zoo
Traveling can be challenging and not with out its mishaps and challenges.
What could be better than being a pink flamingo, you get to eat lots of shrimp
and don't need kool-aid to flaunt your freak
 Our most recent trip to San Diego is a perfect example. Of course if you check out my FB page you will see lots of happy faces but just to keep it in perspective I will share an email my husband Scott sent out to family and friends with the subject line The Dight/Hersh Vacation Chronicles

Or, what not to do when having a family vacation:

1. Do not book two seats for the same person on the same flight (We inadvertently booked two seats for Nanci, none for Nate. Didn't realize this until the night before when printing boarding passes. It required an hour on the phone with multiple airline management to correct).

2. Do not show up to the check-in counter 40mins ahead of flight time with luggage to be checked. (We hit massive traffic. Must be there 45 mins before flight time, no exceptions. Only solution, two of us catch the flight, two of us race to try and catch the next flight with baggage. Bye-bye Nanci and Griff, see you when you get there).

3. Do not skim board on water that is too shallow. (Nate had the board catch the sand and jolt his ankle and foot, end result, two fractured bones).

4. Don't have a need to get ex-rays done while traveling. (Entire day spent in calling, where to go, do they take insurance, etc...thank goodness we weren't traveling internationally).

5. Don't try to go on planned events with crutches or a wheelchair. (Need I say more).
Or have your older brother push you around.
6. Don't trust all websites for selecting places to stay. (Our B&B was a bit scary, hence we decided not to stay. Cost us one night's fee for cancellation, not to mention, have you ever tried booking a hotel on the fly? We needed to find something reasonable for that night and the for the following 3 nights).

There are other pointers I could share, but I think you get the picture. By the way, Nate will be out of commission for approximately six weeks. I can't wait to get home and back to work!

Scott and Griffin at La Jolla
(I could live there) just saying.
Nanci's note to Scott: Look at the above photo and tell me you mean it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Learn, Teach, Share

The only way to get better at something anything, is practice, regularly, consistently.
Bobbi Levitt's painting and easel at Painting by the Pond
The best way to really learn something is to teach it.

And to find joy in something you need to share it.

I loved having my students at my home and studio last week for Painting by the Pond. It was exciting to watch everyone's work develop and I know for sure that teaching makes me a better artist. Takes me from auto pilot to being present, demands clarity and good communication, and I learn and am inspired from what each student, regardless of experience brings to the class.

Kay S. set up in the shade (smart lady) and
kept on going all week.

Milan's first oil painting...
"It was a wonderful, invaluable experience, an inspirational 5 days with a fabulous instructor and mentor who helped me to grow not only as an artist but as an art teacher as well."
Kathy N.
Kathy at work
So much fun we're going to do it again... look for shout outs about a Fall Weekend Workshop of Painting by the Pond. The colors are glorious and the fish are still active.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Over the Hump at the Pond

Today was Day 3 of Painting by the Pond. It was a picture perfect morning- the sun came out after some crazy storms last night, the humidity dropped (thankfully) and everyone is thrilled with the progress they are seeing in their work.  You can see why I love this place and I am so happy to share this with other creative, fun and supportive souls (on two and four legs!)
Bobbi's ptg. mid session of Day 1
water and plants are coming to life in her water
Kay found her place in the shade, a bench for her supplies - and
a friend by her side (look closely)
Kay's perspective on things
Milan, working with water mixable oils for the first time
is painting her passion...

Kathy is adding a bit of the tropics to Landenberg with a
vibrant palette
and Maggie, well after drinking half the pond water is ready for siesta

Monday, June 9, 2014

Painting by the Pond Summer Workshop with Nanci Hersh

Come paint with me.
I love my pond- it is where I often
meditate, practice yoga, chill and of course it is the
heart behind my Koi Pond Series.
I want to share its vibrant beauty, peacefulness and inspiration with you.

I am offering a weeklong summer workshop- Painting by the Pond at my home and studio in beautiful Landenberg, PA, one hour south east of Philadelphia in scenic Chester County.

WHEN: Monday, July 14- Friday, July 18, 2014. 9am-12noon.

These painting sessions will provide an opportunity for inspiration and interaction with other creative like- minded individuals, camaraderie, as well as feedback and technical assistance to create your own peace of paradise right here.

Beneath the Surface II
oil, acrylic, spray paint on canvas
30" x 40"
I will make sure we have tents for shade, cool tunes to accompany the sound of the waterfall, and provide cold refreshing drinks.

How much does it cost? $185.00 for the 5 sessions, July 14-18, 9 am - noon.
Space is limited. Any questions or if you are interested and live out of town please contact me for accommodation information.  I can be reached at nancihersh@gmail.com
Looking forward to painting with you pond side!