My 6th grade teacher and mother decided I should get private art lessons, after something clicked in my brain and I was able to draw as well as an adult. They found Mrs Grinch (seriously) as my teacher for about the next 3 years. I would go to her house a couple of blocks away and watch her paint, while I consumed bowls of cheap licorice candy. The taste of licorice still reminds me of the smell of turpentine and linseed oil. From Mrs Grinch, a very sweet old lady, who looked like Mrs Claus, I learned very traditional and realistic watercolor, oil, and pastel. Mother entered my work in art shows and fairs along side adult artists, where my first paintings were sold. Subject matter was usually her suggestion, so later, when I went to boarding school at Annie Wright Seminary in Tacoma, I was able to go in my own direction with my work. I discovered that I am no abstract artist, hard as I tried to create something non-objective, my ego would not let me create something you can't put a name on.
After high school I defended our country in the Airforce at Fairchild AFB in Spokane Washington. I ran the arts and crafts store there, and to earn extra cash I did portraits of fallen veterans. Honorably discharged from the AF, the GI Bill allowed me to attend the highly acclaimed 3 year Advertising Art Program at Spokane Falls Community College. Instructors there were working artists like Harold Balacz, a famous, versatile and hard working NW artist. I met my husband there at SFCC, and we've been sharing art supplies and critiquing each other's work for over 30 years.
As job seekers after art school, my future husband and I moved to Seattle. My artistic work history includes jobs as an advertising illustrator, editorial illustrator for Robinson Newspapers, art teacher, and commissioned fine artist.
I was a volunteer and eventually a paid art teacher at Highland Park Elementary in Seattle for the several years that my (our) daughter attended school there. Teaching art to children, whom I adore, is a great love of mine. My after school art program included 1st through 5th graders. Imagine teaching batik to 20 plus kids! We sewed, waxed, dyed and ironed and nobody got hurt or permanantly stained.
Advertising took an incredible dive after 9/11 and my husband, an after effects artist, got his first pay cut, so I had to get a job that would help pay more of the bills, including our daughter's college tuition at Mount Holyoke. I ended up selling cars for ten years! Go figure, I was a natural, but like many in that industry I got the burn-out. Fortunately our bills are smaller now, so I'm afforded the opportunity to get back into my art.
I'm older and wiser and much more focused than I used to be, so I concentrate on my main talent, which is watercolor.
I hope you find my Sumi-e, watercolor, and mixed mediums as great as I feel when I create them. Peace.
Nancy Pahl joined Pixels.com Licensing on July 29th, 2012.