Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A brief interview with St. Louis artist Nancy Newman Rice

by Helene Wildi, Art Saint Louis Summer 2010 Intern

Nancy Newman Rice. From the "Reflections from Home Series," Fading Light. 2010. Oil on canvas, 20"x20".

Helene Wildi:- The last time I saw you was at your Summer 2009 Show at Duane Reed Gallery – where you had the paintings from the Dark Reflections and Chairs series. How is your recent work now?

Nancy Newman Rice:- The colors are lighter and slightly more varied, but still muted. The image is more abstract – the story is about light and reflection. The images come directly from one particular window in my house-the angle of the light and the resulting shadows and reflections that change with the season and the hours.

HW:- You had been using pointillism for "vibrancy of the colors." Why is there a change in technique?

NR:- My life has settled down and I have more time to think and to work. A slightly more blended approach produces the effect that I want.

HW:- Your source of inspiration was "art history, family and dreams." Has that changed?

NR:- Oh yeah! It still has to do with dreams and memories which are sometimes inseparable. As a kid, you spend – at least I did – lots of time on your own and I got really intrigued with light – light patterns, light reflections. I did a painting in 1974, and exhibited it in my first faculty show at Maryville University: a reflection of light on our apartment wall. I guess I have made somewhat of a circle in terms of my subject matter.

HW:- During your winter 2008 sabbatical from Maryville University, you published a book of personal writings – did that influence the direction in your paintings?

NR:- No. Initially I was going to write about my own work using my experience writing art criticism, monographs, and catalog essays. I just could not do it objectively. So, I wrote about the origin of my paintings.

HW:- You are recognized for your work in oil. Do you ever use other media such as acrylic? Prints?

NR:- Not recently although, as an undergraduate, I double-majored in painting and printmaking and started the intaglio program at Maryville University. I used to paint in acrylic when the kids were young... I did not want to poison them with the oil paint or solvents (she laughs!). I am still trying to find a printmaking method that works with my imagery...

HW:- New upcoming show?

NR:- There are talks... I also do have some portrait commissions to complete.

Nancy Newman Rice is a founding member of Art Saint Louis. She is represented by Duane Reed Gallery, St. Louis, MO and her works are included in public and private collections in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Helene Wildi is currently wrapping up her Summer 2010 internship with Art Saint Louis. She is a senior in Studio Art studying drawing, painting & metalsmithing at Maryville University in St. Louis. Helene will earn her B.F.A. in December 2010.

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