Home Artist Gallery Publications Contact
   
   

About the Artist Honors/Awards Artist's Statement Related Websites

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

Like many artists, my initial art was realistic--drawing models in the studio or places or people I saw while traveling in other countries. At home, I did plein air (outdoor) paintings. However, early on, I changed the colors so they were not realistic; I made my subjects any color that pleased me. I loved pattern from the beginning and chose subject matter that had lots of line and pattern in it. Or, if the pattern was not already there, I added it. I also began to choose objects, buildings, or figures from many sites and combined them into imaginary scenes. See, for instance, my paintings of Ecuador. This led to what I called my "dreamscapes." I discovered I could create fantasies--whimsical, happier versions of life. As I did as a child, I could be playful and "make things up" or discover animals or faces in the shapes made by the paint itself. Sometimes my love of pattern or layering of paint led me to make non-objective or non-representational works of art, which I still enjoy. But most often, my work is semi-representational or an imaginative transformation of reality. Many of my paintings are now described as "whimsical."

These developments led me to create my "whimsical birds," which have become my "signature" subject matter and style. They are unique and easily recognized as mine--what one friend describes as "a Nancy." I select my birds based on their unusual appearance and personality. My extensive travels have stimulated my fascination with birds in all regions of the world. I "introduce" them to one another by allowing them to interact in my whimsical paintings. After carefully planning my composition, I use aluminum foil with black gesso for the drawing process. I further enhance the birds' whimsicality through my treatment of their eyes, and my imaginative use of colors and patterns. These are large paintings, 36"x28" or--with painted borders--40"x32" when framed.

My whimsical birds have been supplemented by my fun "assemblages" on 12"x12" or smaller canvases. On each canvas is a pattern created by paint or by collaged papers, and the 3-D objects (bought or found) are "assembled" on these surfaces. More recently, I have begun calling them my "mobile" works. They are "mobile," because you can easily move these pieces to different locations in your house or office. They can be placed on stands, propped on a windowsill, stood up on a bookshelf, or placed flat on various surfaces. They can also be hung on a wall. In these mobile "assemblages," I often juxtapose objects in a humorous way, giving me the freedom to be as imaginative as I please. Doing this kind of "art" is enjoyable and relaxing.

As an artist, I like to experiment with new ideas and tools. What I do will vary over time; and a record of those changes will be evident in the paintings on my website (www.nancytoppingbazin.com). But whimsy will probably be the unifying element that permeates my artwork from beginning to end.

                                                                                   Updated June 12, 2016