Nancy Spears Whitcomb

Photo by Lydia Whitcomb
Before graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, I spent a year in a New York studio art group at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program. For many years I worked in graphic design and illustration and continue to do so with occasional illustration work. I've designed ads, books, magazines and record covers while living in New York, Philadelphia, Paris and Providence. For a decade I enjoyed teaching art to schoolchildren.

My paintings have been shown at the Providence Art Club galleries, the RISD Museum, the Newport Art Museum, Mystic Museum of Art, Saco Museum, Fuller Craft Museum, University of New England Gallery on the Portland Campus, RI State Council on the Arts Gallery, University of Rhode Island Gallery, Art League RI VETS Gallery, Spring Bull in Newport, RI and other galleries. I have won a number of awards.

I like souvenirs of one sort or another because they open a pocketful of memories and take your mind somewhere else. It's why I paint images that transport me and the viewer to other places, other times, other moods and other fantasies. This includes playing with images from consumer/popular culture, giving them a droll spin and setting them off in new directions.

One of my favorite approaches is creating the feeling of the motion of a crowd but on a paradoxically flat surface. I enjoy the flatness and anonymity of crowd pictures and the effect of image repetition.

I also like contradiction, such as with seemingly light and happy pictures that turn out to have unsettling undertones and with seemingly dark pictures that end up having a humorous effect.

Last but not least is the pleasure I get using encaustic techniques that allow me to push and pull at the surface of the picture. I am pleased to be a member of New England Wax (NEW), a small group of artists from the six New England states working in the medium of encaustic. My work can also be seen on the NEW site: