...in the studio
From an early age, Nancyanne Cowell began painting our relationship with nature in the dynamic Canadian landscape. Embracing charismatic light, her atmospheric paintings sensuously straddle the built and natural worlds we live in — providing viewers with a rich introspective experience. Using traditional oils with contemporary techniques, she combines timeless and modern elements. With sweeping textures and soft energetic passages, Cowell's powerful and luminous paintings emphasize how our existence is inherently linked to nature. Her work ultimately illuminates the beauty of this relationship. An award-winning artist, a series of her paintings is academically published, exploring a more sustainable world. Enjoyed by many, her work is collected in private, corporate and public living spaces.
BFA (Hon) (Distinct), MBA, LFC; Award of Distinction for painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria; Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
"I explore the mystical bond between people and the powerful elements of my country: the weather, seasons, ecosystems and the vitality of the light that connects them. Throughout my walks, I embrace the clouds, breathe the light, feel the storm or pull of the moon. I gather keepsakes from nature, written thoughts, photographs and memories of the experience.
I paint as though I am walking through a place recalling the sense of wonder of the raw and textural energy of the land. It is the aesthetic power of light that guides me to channel an artistic expression that speaks to my interest of place and belonging. It's where I go to unfold our search for serenity. I paint in the tradition of oils, revealing layers of transparent depth and veiling and also use mixed-media to reveal thick textural sensations. Space and design is how I see life and influences my art making. Often, reconstructed canvas-shapes provide the compositional surface for my paintings, enabling me to emphasize something special in the scene. The intuition of Romanticism and the emotion of Expressionist art, appeal to my inner senses, yet I find the light in Luminism art to be the most inspiring. My heart belongs to the sky. Appreciating the reverence, I paint from that mystery."
by Stephanie Webb, BA, BFA (Hon), MA, Contemporary Curator & Writer
Nancyanne Cowell is an inspirational artist of our time. Her stunning and sensuously vibrant ‘ecoscapes’ profoundly capture the cyclical nature of our existence. When handled with such virtuosity, Cowell’s subjects — love, life and death — compellingly speak to the fragility of the world, as we know it. Beginning with the word, she creates entirely from the title of the canvas. Cowell’s powerful, yet tenderly painted atmospheric paintings show evidence of making, unmaking and remaking, conjuring spectres of the inexorable passage of time. Yes, time is fleeting but, here, it is marked and recorded by the tempo of the brush … the whisper of a wing, a suggestion of a wave, an edge, flashes of flesh, drops of pooling light, hints of blue and pink: Am I beside a perilous precipice, at the edge of the world, witnessing a birth — the first breath — or caught in time, gazing deeply into the jeweled tones of a dragonfly’s eye? Bringing forth deep emotions, we are given space to integrate our own stories and experiences into these large-format ‘ecoscapes’, for they are mysterious and as multivalent as they are layered.
Born in Ottawa, Cowell’s early years were spent painting and examining the diversity of her surroundings, and it was here — growing up in the greenbelt of southern Ontario — that she became aware of the tenuous interconnections within ecosystems. Later, Cowell relocated to the west coast to undertake a BFA with Honours and was granted the Award of Distinction for painting, whilst concurrently studying Environmental Philosophy. Shortly thereafter, she earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, which deepened her understanding of society and, more importantly, continues to inform her art making. She is an elected member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. This combination of fine art, philosophy and business studies proved potent. Driven to inspire positive change, Cowell taught communications, sustainability and marketing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Although this experience was wonderfully rewarding for her, when the ‘roar of unstoppable paint’ could be denied no longer, Cowell became a full-time artist. Now, she inspires by different means. Painting on canvas, Cowell creates life-affirming, atmospheric 'ecoscapes' that are never mournful but always filled with vitality — that we can, and will, bring ourselves back from the brink…
Representation is established with the following galleries:
JDStevenson Gallery, Chemainus, www.jdstevensongallery.com
Exhibits and sells distinctive quality fine art that reflects thought and soul representing West Coast Canadian artists.
The Federation of Canadian Artists, Vancouver, www.artists.ca
Exhibits and sells original fine art by member artists. The largest national arts service organization in Canada.
The Robert Bateman Centre, Victoria, www.batemancentre.org
Exhibits the collection of Robert Bateman and hosts special exhibits of local Canadian culture and nature.
Sooke Harbour House Art Gallery, Sooke, www.sookeharbourhouse.com
Exhibits and sells original fine art representing the Vancouver Island region.
This is a selection only...of group, featured, juried or solo shows:
Federation Gallery, Vancouver, Federation of Canadian Artists, juried shows
JDStevenson Gallery, Chemainus, artwork exhibited throughout the year
Royal Roads University Showcase Gallery, solo show, Victoria
The Robert Bateman Centre, Public Art Gallery, Edging Forward Exhibit, Victoria
Academic On-line Art Gallery, Edging Forward Project, Ann Dale, Canada
Sooke Fine Arts Society Gallery, Vancouver Island's premier juried shows
The Gallery at Mattick's, solo and group shows, Saanich
Sooke Harbour House Resort Art Gallery, solo and group shows, Sooke
Victoria Arts Council Gallery, Look Show, Victoria
University of Victoria, Faculty of Fine Arts, solo show, Victoria
Edward Jones Investment Lobby, featured artist, Saanich
Arts Center at Cedar Hill, Saanich
Saanich Municipal Hall Art Gallery, solo show, Saanich
Sooke Fine Arts Show, Designer's Choice Award for artistic & technical accomplishment, 'Between Tomorrow', painting, public press and media for year 2019
Quill and Quire Magazine, Review, Edging Forward book & art collection, Feb 2018
Focus Magazine, Carbon Thoughts painting selected for the front cover, Sept-Oct, 2017
Chin Yuen Art, Article, "Women Hold Up Half The Sky", Featured Speaker, March 2016
Art Avenue Magazine, News Vignette, Federation of Canadian Artists, Mar/Apr 2014
SEASIDE Magazine, Article, "Time Suspended: Dust Motes, Dragonflies and Dandelion Clocks", Stephanie Webb, Jan 2014
Art Avenue Magazine, News Vignette, Federation of Canadian Artists, Jan/Feb 2014
CRC Research, Sustainable Community Development, News Blog, "integration, interconnection, inspiration", Dr. Ann Dale, Nov 2013
The Cordovan, News Vignette, "...fast on the rise", Issue 10, Winter 2013
Art Avenue Magazine, News Vignette, Federation of Canadian Artists, Sept/Oct 2013
CACGV Newsletter, News Vignette, July 2013
ISLAND Gals Magazine, Peer-Recommended Artist for Inspiration and Motivation, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Feature Article, Front Cover: Nancyanne Cowell, "moments", Volume 3, Issue 2, June 2013
SEASIDE Magazine, News Vignette, Seaside Arts Scene, Gillian Crowley, June 2013
Art Avenue Magazine, News Vignette, Federation of Canadian Artists, May/June 2013
CACGV Newsletter, News Vignette, May 2013
SEASIDE Magazine, Feature Contributor, Feature Article, Front Cover: 2013 Women to WATCH, "ReCycling Painting Series", Mar 2013
Exhibit-V, Art Connections, Ezine Article, ["...you can almost taste her paintings"], Stephanie Webb, Mar 2013
The Cordovan, Article, "You Can Almost Taste Her Paintings", Stephanie Webb, Spring 2013
CACGV Newsletter, News Vignette, Apr 2013
Art Avenue Magazine, News Vignette, Federation of Canadian Artists, Mar/Apr 2013
YAM Magazine, Painting in Featured Home, Home and Garden, July/Aug 2011
Where Magazine, Canada's Travel Planner, Vignette, "Featured Artist", The Gallery-at Matticks, July 2010
Saanich Newspaper, Article, "Painter Nancyanne Cowell", Island Life Style, June 2009
Preview, Art Gallery Guide, Vignette, "Featured Artist", The Gallery-at Matticks, 2009