Nancy Fairchild is a painter whose gestural realism captures the essence of people and objects in a bold and fluid style. Her paintings, taken from direct observation and from digital photos, convey a love of both the subject matter and the paint she applies in creamy, dripping strokes.
Nancy received her Bachelor of Arts degree at DePauw University, and attended post-graduate work at Millersville College and Skidmore College, as well as courses and workshops around the country and at The Art Student’s League, in both clay and painting. After working in a variety of mediums, including ceramics and printmaking, Nancy now focuses solely on oil as the most powerful medium for expressing her artistic vision.
Her work with ceramic glazes has influenced the way Nancy allows paint to run and blend on the canvas, accepting the accidental drips and flows as part of the overall composition of the piece. Her work with printmaking, especially woodcuts and silkscreens, has influenced the way she builds up the surface of the painting in consecutively finer details, layer by layer.
The result is dynamic brushstrokes, bold designs, and finally, surprising realism as the richly textured surfaces coalesce into discrete images of people, fish and birds.
“When I paint people, my paintings are reasonable likenesses of the subjects, but I’m more interested in portraying my impression of the people, their interactions with each other, and even their reactions to the viewing audience. Subjects inspire me when I see iconographic possibilities in their poses, clothes, body language, or settings. I edit down my paintings to leave only enough information to convey the simplest message, allowing viewers to fill in the details based on their own experience.
“When I paint fish, or more correctly, ponds, I like the fact that I don’t have to deal with gravity – I don’t have to show or imply a horizon. There is no up or down. I think of Chagall and how he let his figures float through the air. Here the figures (fish) float through the water. It’s a great design device. I love the way the water abstracts the fish. The way the fish’s pigment seems to bleed into the water. Mother Nature is a better graphic designer than I’ll ever be, so I take my images directly from her, via my own photographs.”
Nancy works from snapshots and life sketches. To begin, she lays down large abstract blocks of color that establish the infrastructure of the painting. She paints large to accommodate full-arm gestures with the paint. “I love paint. I like it thick and buttery, or oozy and flowing. I stroke it thinly, knife it on in great globs or swipe it on and let it drip. In the end, it’s all about the paint.”
Bachelor of Arts, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN: painting and pottery; Art Students League, New York, NY: printmaking; Millersville College, Millersville, PA and Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY: pottery. Exhibited in various group shows in Indiana, Pennsylvania, California and New York and up and down the East Coast. Until 1995, my worked focused on pottery and three dimensional sculptures made from wheel-thrown forms. I began painting in oil in 1995, and have been painting exclusively since 2004.
2012 – “Art In The Park, University Park, FL – Awarded “Best In Show”
2012 – “Small Works” group show, PleiadesGallery of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
2010 – “2010 Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, Hyde Museum, Glens Falls, NY
2010 – “2010 Member Show,” Pleiades Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
2009 – “Relationships,” Solo show, Pleiades Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
2009 – “Annual Figure Juried Competition & Exhibition,” Art Guild of Port Washington, Manhasset, NY
2009 – “2009 National Women's Exhibition.” Impact Artists Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2009 – “2009 Member Show,” Pleiades Gallery of Contemporary Art, New York NY
2008 – “Annual Fence Show Select 2008,” The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY
2008 – “The Human Form,” 12 12 Gallery, Richmond, VA -- solo
2008 – “59th Annual Art of the Northeast,” Silvermine Guild Arts Center, New Canaan, CT
2008 – “L'Chayim, To Life,” Rosenzweig Gallery, Durham, NC
2008 – “National Juried Exhibition,” Academy of Fine Arts, Lynchburg, VA
2008 – “Manchester National Juried Fine Art Exhibition 2008,” 12 12 Gallery, Richmond, VA
2007 – “Central Coast National Fine Art Competition,” Morro Bay Art Association, Morro Bay, CA -- Award
2007 – “Cooperstown Art Assoc. 72nd National Juried Exhibition,” Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, NY
2007 – “Exhibition for The Arts 2007,” 12 12 Gallery, Richmond, VA
2007 – “Faith & Superstitions,” Long Beach Arts, Long Beach, CA
2007 – “Manchester National Juried Fine Art Exhibition,” 12 12 Gallery, Richmond, VA
2006 – “Juried Non-Member Brush Exhibition,” Pen and Brush, Inc., New York, NY
2006 – “2006 Ceramics Regional,” The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY
2006 – “77th Annual Open Juried Exhibition, at John Slade Ely House Center for Contempory Art, New Haven,” Connecticut Women Artists Inc., Plainfield, CT
2006 – “60th Annual Sculpture Exhibition,” Pen and Brush, Inc., New York, NY
2006 – “National Women's Exhibition,” Impact Artists Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2005 – “Saratoga: Inside-Out,” Saratoga County Arts Council, Saratoga Springs, NY
2005 – “40th Annual Fence Show,” The Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY