Artist Nancy Smyth uses pastel and watercolor to capture the expressions and personalities of her subjects in wonderful detail. Find more of her delightful art on visit her website.
I started drawing when I was very young. My mom told me that I would sit quietly for hours, consumed with coloring and drawing at the kitchen table. Fast forward into adulthood, I am once again at my kitchen table creating pastel paintings of my favorite subjects—animals.
Two passions of mine are having horses and dogs in my life and creating artwork. While dog ownership has been a steady part of my life since childhood and I got my first horse in my teens as my high school graduation gift, they are still an integral part of my life today.
This has given me hands on contact with my subjects. I can study their expressions, nuances and unique characteristics—invaluable in the creation of my art.
Because of my connection to these wonderful creatures, I have met like-minded people who have become lifelong friends. Also, when I am unable to ride or be around my horse and friends, creating my art can help me stay connected to that part of my life.
Like the art world, horse and dog owners’ communities are a huge gathering of people from different backgrounds, all sharing the same passion.
I love to try new things and the challenge of learning to use different mediums fulfills that need. I read articles by artists whose work I admire and study their artwork to pick up helpful pointers.
Entering competitions also pushes me to learn to hone my craft. I am mainly a pastelist who focuses on animals, but I am challenging myself to use acrylics, watercolor and oils and incorporating people and landscapes in my art.
My professional art career started later in life as I worked in the corporate world for decades. During that time, I looked forward to when I would begin my journey as an artist. That time is now.
Whether the piece is slated for my portfolio or is a commissioned portrait of someone’s beloved pet, I strive to portray not only a realistic rendering but also capture its uniqueness. This creates a memorable experience for the viewer.
When I was in college, a professor told me that I should not do artwork with animals as the subject. But I knew deep down that this was what I wanted to do, and I’m so glad I followed my heart and ventured down this path. I will continue to learn not only for my growth as an artist, but to create artwork that resonates with my collectors. I love to make people happy. What better way to do this than through my art?