MEMORIES, and current studio news
'SWEET HOPE', a new collection
Bring me closer to the wisdom hidden within your wings.
Some sort of universal truth keeps tapping on my bones. Do bees see more than we do? Do they sense more than we do? I want to reach enough of their being to then touch us. To celebrate their life, I will make space in the composition for a material that holds an ancient understanding of time – encaustic bees' wax. I find the beauty of molten wax elicits a graceful texture among the organic and the man-made. I hope this collection might spark hope to live, heal and work in harmony with nature in contemporary life.
To mark the 2019 year of 'Climate Awakening in Canada' the paintings 'Fusing Love' and 'Between Tomorrow' were purchased for curatorial acquisition into the permanent fine art collection for Royal Roads University, British Columbia. Five years in the making, the Edging Forward project was an artistic and educational collaboration of research, artwork and multimedia dedicated to Canada's changing landscape. "I am exceptionally grateful for this special honour. I hope the love and energy in these paintings will stir people's hearts towards the natural world and all its’ rhythms and sustenance.", says artist Nancyanne Cowell. The paintings are now permanently featured in the School of Environment and Sustainability for public viewing in the new Sherman Jen building. The university is located on the beautiful Hatley Park National Historic Site and on the traditional lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) ancestors.
SOOKE FINE ARTS SHOW AWARD WINNER:
The Sooke Fine Arts Show is the premier juried fine art event for my region. From 5,000 entries, and shortlisted to 385 pieces of artwork, I am so delighted to be the recipient of the curator's and juror's, 2018 Designer's Choice Award for "best artwork that embodies an emphasis on artistic and technical accomplishment; is advanced and displays originality." In 2019, the painting "Between Tomorrow" (oil mixed-media), was showcased to represent the region's 33rd premier art event. The painting was on the front cover of the exhibition catalogue, all domestic and international social & print media, as well as digital-street boards in the Greater Victoria region.
Between Tomorrow. The miracle of a birth in nature took hold of my heart and I felt that space and design had to profoundly influence the composition. The orientation and physical format of the canvas-frame became as important as the brushwork. Spiritual chakras are subtle centres of energy in our body and I wanted the composition of the landscape to emanate these energies. Presenting a five-foot 'landscape' as a 'portrait', asks the viewer to relate to the paintings on a visceral level; thus eliciting an intuitive personal response and connection between their body and the subject. Compositionally, "Between Tomorrow" is made with two built canvases assembled together, presenting a physical, horizontal seam where the canvases meet, allowing the heart chakra to be fully framed and encircled in the upper panel. Dwelling in grace and painting meditations, the birth came forth while creating. This architectural reconstruction is physical, yet gently stirs the emotional energies of the viewer, as they rise with the dragonfly's first breath - a moment of transformation. We affectionately call him Danny.
UNIVERSITY FINE ART ACQUISITION:
Spring 2019. Such a very special honour to let you know that my painting 'Carbon Thoughts' has been purchased for curatorial acquisition into the permanent fine art collection at Royal Roads University, for public viewing. The university aspires to collaborations as the way forward to sustainable living and protecting nature. Located on the beautiful Hatley Castle National Historic site and traditional lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) ancestors; the painting is displayed in the School of Environment & Sustainability, Sherman Jen Building. I am deeply grateful to the university for this exceptional honour, for the painting can now exist to celebrate the wonder of nature in the hearts of students, educators and the people for future generations.
SPECIAL EXHIBIT at the BATEMAN GALLERY OF NATURE
EXHIBITION CATALOGUE: EDGING FORWARD
Edging Forward: Reconciliation ♥ Reconnection ♥ Regeneration
PAINTING SERIES PUBLISHED IN LIVING LIBRARY
"By responding to themes, legends and fairy tales within each chapter, I draw on relationships and interconnections between our built environment and the natural world. Water — as a symbol of renewal, cleansing and emotional energy; flows throughout the painting series. It is the source of all life. Making up most of the Earth and most of our bodies, water is a conduit between and amongst all species, communities and the biosphere. Painting beyond the conventional boundaries of the traditional 'landscape', my brushes found moments of emotion and wonder expressing these marvelous mysteries. These paintings are an offering that we may find possibility — towards a fresh understanding of being. With our planet deeply seeking care, perhaps this project will stir both our hearts and minds to find meaning and strengthen our connection with the world around us." - Nancyanne Cowell, Edging Forward Art Collection
PUBLISHED in SEASIDE MAGAZINE
SEASIDE Magazine, January 2014 issue, published an article Time Suspended: Dust Motes, Dragonflies and Dandelion Clocks by Stephanie Webb, BA, BFA, MA, Contemporary Art Critic. [..."Many speak about the beauty of Cowell's paintings; however, for me, these canvases are more. Something deeper is implied. For example, in Timewriter (pictured), swirling brushstrokes of deep burgundy vibrate with energy yet are held in check by the areas of blush pink and incandescent cinnamon. These quieter spaces, or pauses, encourage contemplation. Also, the inclusion of other elements and motifs, such as dots and dragonfly, is telling. I am reminded of days gone by — when there was time to watch dust motes dance in the sunbeams, when there were opportunities to stare lazily at darting dragonflies and when I really believed you could tell the time by blowing dandelion clocks — and I mourn my loss of innocence. The dragonfly is a gentle reminder that change is inevitable. Like the circle, these ancient beings are often seen as symbols of transformation and connote the cyclical nature of life."...]
SEASIDE Magaine, 2013 Women to Watch, March 2013 Issue; RECYCLED VASES...IN THE GARDEN - Nancyanne Cowell, Artist. This was an extract, from the upcoming floral art exhibition [..."I found this most charming vase in the recycle, and took it home with me. And deep inside, where no one could see, several cracks appeared. Most delicately, I washed the curves with soap and water until they shined. Surveying the garden, my inner voice flickered and listened to the tweak of the creative moment. I knew. I stood the vessel into its place, its home — its new passage to be, residing next to the immortal Iris. I put fresh water and flowers in it every day until the cracks in the surface began to heal. Sometimes the vase felt vulnerable when seen inside, but I would place more flowers in, and fill it with my favorite song. It would be transformed again. It knows it is strong enough for anything."...]
Nancyanne's painting Unveiling Your Voice is on the wall for this featured Victoria home in Y.A.M. Magazine, July/August 2011 edition, with the Feature Article: Custom Homes.