“What I learn about myself and how to make sense of my life through painting is as important to me as creating art that attempts to capture the eye and stir the soul. I’ve learned to relinquish my inclination to over-direct the creative development of a painting and to follow when it leads me on a different path than that which I originally intended. There is reward in discovering something personal, and sometimes surprising, from that detour. Much of what is represented in my art comes from imagination or memory, often with only a small part of the subject matter derived from direct experience. This can make the process of painting at times fun and creative--or frustrating and time consuming. No artist is promised a smooth highway to satisfaction in their work, only the grand realization of having created something unique from thin air. One of the qualities that distinguishes my art is the quietude and peacefulness it conveys, even as the design of the compositions create a sense of movement. This is what I hope my paintings bring to those who view them.”
About the Artist
Nancy Howe’s life as an artist began early, her art encouraged by her father who introduced her childhood work to mentors in the art department at Esquire Magazine in NYC where he worked. He made a point of taking her to the major art museums in the city to expose her to inspiring historical artists, where she became especially captivated by the French animal painter, Rosa Bonheur. It foretold her rise as a wildlife artist early in her career, a professional life that came to flourish at 40 after raising two sons and sheep on a small farm in Vermont. Forgoing formal art training for a more self-directed exploration of foundation principles, techniques, and styles, her approach allowed for other interests. For more than three decades, those interests, which competed for painting time, nonetheless contributed to the rich diversity of experience that underpins her artistic work in maturity. Howe’s paintings have been described as suffused with light, exquisitely textural, and as having a quiet presence that pervades even the most dynamic compositions of diverse subjects -- birds, animals, figures, landscape, and still life.
In 1990, Howe made history as the first woman artist chosen for the U.S. Department of Interior’s Federal Duck Stamp Program established in 1934, painting the winning design for the 1991-2 revenue stamp. She has been the recipient of numerous national exhibition awards from Oil Painters of America, the Society of Animal Artists, the International Masters of Fine Art Invitational, and jury selected for the Woodson Art Museum’s international Birds in Art exhibitions since 1990, honored as Master Wildlife Artist in 2005. Her paintings reside in several museum permanent collections, including the National Museum of Wildlife Art and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. She exhibited for many years in the Artists of America show in Denver and the Great America Artists Exhibition in Cincinnati. Howe has been a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists since 1992, a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America since 2002 and named Master Signature Member of OPA in 2013. She has been a contributing artist in several art publications, including the 2001 Wildlife Art: Sixty Contemporary Masters and Their Work.
In 2007, she created a fundraising cultural painting project, Painting a Brighter Future for Women, that currently supports programs empowering women in native communities in Kenya, Bhutan, and Panama.