Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Artist Interview: NANCY VAN DEN BOOM

Welcome to my January Artist Interview!
Nancy is a talented artist from the Netherlands. On Etsy she works under her own brand Nancy van den Boom - which is her real name, meaning "of the tree" (as the Latin saying goes, "nomen est omen"). She paints wonderful oil paintings, and she recently added a line of wearable art to her production - featuring her original miniature oil paintings.
Nancy's paintings are full of light and color, and I love their rich brushstrokes and the textures. Nature is ever-present in Nancy's art, be it in her wonderful vibrant landscapes full of flowers or in her amazing trees, or in her sweet little animals. Here she shares her artistic journey and inspiration with us!
Welcome Nancy!

- How did you first come to art and creativity? How did your journey in art and creativity begin?

- I was drawing a lot as a kid already. My Dad used to draw all the time and I think I learned a lot from watching him draw and study. Especially the way he worked with light and shadow…. My Mom kept lots of my drawings from my second year and it is so funny to see how I started and enjoyed drawing heads with legs ;-)

- When and how did you realize this was your real life path?

- That’s a long story! I did so many other creative things. “Creative things” like modelling with clay, writing stories, filming. I always was interested in creating, but painting stole my heart in 2004. It seems like ages ago, and it is only 6 years ago. Now painting is such a big part of my life.

- What are your main sources of inspiration?

- Everything around me, and that’s quite a lot ;-)
Nature, people, light and dark, other artists work, series of works, films, pictures, anything really.

- You love painting nature and in particular trees. Is there any particular reason – apart from your name which means “of the tree” :) – for choosing them as your “muse” for your artwork?

- That’s a good question! I am very fond of trees. They fill my heart and when we make long walks I see tiny young trees, struggling for life with so much energy and determination. I see huge trees, centuries old! I love the individuality and character of trees, their different forms, the way the sunlight plays upon their stem, their leaves. The way their image changes in the seasons, their importance in cities, in between the concrete, manmade buildings. Trees are so important to us and I love to make people (even more) aware of that, by showing my colourful interpretations of trees. I hope I can touch people’s hearts with my paintings of trees. And painting them is a wonderful challenge.

- I have noticed that you often paint Italian landscapes... Have you been to Italy?

- Yes, I was in Italy 6 times.....Tuscany......Volterra, Pomarance, Pisa, Bergamo, Cecina, the coast...... I love Italy....big inspiration! Lovely people, wonderful climate (hot!), ahhhh the food!!
You are right, I painted Italy many many times, it brought me almost back there!

- How has life affected your art and art affected your life?

- Very much. I am constantly thinking of what to paint next and this fills up my life, together with the regular (4 days a week) job I have.
And when I paint, I am fully absorbed by it and happy. Playing with form and colour.

- You have recently added wearable art to your work. What do you like most about painting wearable art?

- To offer a painting in a form of something you can use. Not only hanging it on a wall, but wear it! And because of the tiny size it’s affordable: tiny canvas, tiny amount of paint ;-) and choose a nice pendant for it.
The idea that for instance customers who bought a necklace pick up my necklace from their drawer and wear it and are glad with it, is very rewarding in a different way than knowing a painting is on a wall. It’s more personal of course. A lady who bought a brooch with a robin, told me that the brooch has a special place in her home, when she’s not wearing it. I like that idea very much and it makes me proud that she enjoys it, wearing it and decorating her home.

- Art is about light and color! What are your favourite colors?

- I love combinations like blue and yellow, red and green….(sky and sunflowers, poppies and grass). I do not blend the colours so much. Often I use the pure colours, that’s why my paintings are very vibrant. Like the cadmiumred of poppies. I love making that.

- How does your home country and in particular Dutch art influence your work? Are you inspired by any particular painters?

- I love the work of Vincent van Gogh very much. I had the immense pleasure of looking at his works in real life quite often and that is SO inspiring. To see the brushstrokes, how he handled the paint and the perspectives. Then I look at such a painting up close and think: he made all these brushstrokes in his solitude and now millions of people admire his work. I love the work of Isaac Israels too, very much. Also an impressionist.

- Did you have a formal training in the arts or attend art courses?

- I am, as they call it, self taught. I never had lessons or courses. I always say: I am just doing something. I follow my heart, use the colours that work best for me and I paint subjects I love. And I love to look, that’s what I need to be able to paint.

- Do you have a studio or home studio or particular part of your house you have devoted to your artwork? Where do you paint your artwork?

- My husband Cor rebuilt a part of our house to be my studio, with a skylight. It’s a space of about 16 square meters, not very big, but very comfortable for me. With a desk, my canvasses, lots of paint, lots of light, a comfortable chair and all that I need for painting. The first year of painting (in the former house we lived) I did not have my own space and I painted in the livingroom! Big canvasses, the room was filled. In the current house, where we live almost 5 years now, I cherish my own creative space a lot. It is next to the kitchen, so connected with the familylife very close by, yet in my own room. For the smaller work and for the wearable art I sometimes paint in the livingroom. I only need a little space on the table and I have a fantastic view on our tiny but very beautiful garden. With a magnificent tree. For inspiration ;-)

- Thank you so much for featuring my work!

Thank YOU dear Nancy for this great and very inspiring interview, and for sharing your artistic journey and inspiration! We leave you to to your beautiful studio full of color and light, and we wish you continued joy, inspiration and success with your art and in your life.
You can find Nancy's artwork in her Etsy shop NancyvdBoom and you can get to know more about her work and her colorful world in her blog.


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