Artist of the Month February 2020


Nancy Bass

Boca Grande, FL USA

Nancy Bass's ongoing series of museum paintings unites her long-standing engagement with animal subjects and art-historical tradition.  Her work has been inspired by the thirty-five years that she lived on a farm, raising and painting a herd of cows who were central to her own everyday landscape. The playful juxtaposition of bovine subject and icons of American Art reflects her larger interest in exploring color, texture, and the boundary between nature and culture.

How and when did you start creating art?

My first memory of creating art was at age three.  I wanted a poodle very much and my parents weren’t quite ready.  Through trial and error, I figured out how to draw a pink poodle. I continued to create poodles in every color of crayon and pretended I had a pet store.

What media and genres do you work in?

I am an oil painter and have also worked in water color, collage, and pastel.  But I always come back to oils.

Who or what are your influences?

Wayne Thiebaud, Georgia O’Keefe, Frans Hals, Degas, and many more.

What was your inspiration for At the Museum (after Thiebaud)?

I was in New York and the Morgan Library had a show of Wayne Thiebaud’s drawings. There were two pieces of his iconic ice cream cones which had a whimsical relationship with dairy and of course cows.  When I was a student at Drake University, there was a show of Thiebaud at the Des Moines Art Museum.  We were asked in my painting class to paint in his style.  I fell in love with everything about his work.

Describe your creative process?

In my Museum Series paintings, I always start by choosing favorite paintings that will work with my muse, the bovine. Next I have to match one of my many cow images to the painting in mood, color and light. The fun part is putting it all together and actually doing the painting.

What are you working on currently?

I am working on two series, the Museum Series and Endangered Series about the most endangered animals.

What are your near/long term goals as an artist?

Every day I want to be a better artist and to create paintings that excite me and share these images with others.  I enjoy teaching animal painting and want to keep doing that along with seeking new opportunities to show my work.

Where can people view/purchase your work (gallery, website, etc)?

The most comprehensive way to view and purchase my work is my website By contacting me I can get a buyer to the correct gallery if a piece is not in my studio

Open Imagination

At the Museum (after Thiebaud)

Open Imagination

At the Museum (after Mel Bochner)

Open Imagination

At the Museum (after Hopper)

Open Imagination

At the Museum (after Warhol)

Open Imagination

At the Museum (after Demuth)

Open Imagination

At the Museum (after Picasso)

Artist Website
All Images @ Nancy Bass
All Rights Reserved

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