Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Gruskin.
Nancy, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My story has a lot of plot twists. I studied art history and studio art in college and then moved to Boston for graduate school. I completed a doctorate in art history at Boston University and spent several years teaching in area colleges and universities. Frustrated with the scarcity of tenure-track jobs, I applied to New England School of Law’s night program. After some lost years as an attorney–in all seriousness, they were good years, spent clerking and then representing indigent criminal defendants on appeal–I knew I had to return to my first love, painting. As they tend to do, opportunities presented other opportunities. I feel very fortunate to have at this point exhibited in some great galleries and to be able to teach at the Concord Center for the Visual Arts and for other arts organizations.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I paint in a studio in my house and that setting has shaped my work in a couple of ways. From a materials perspective, I no longer work with oil paints, as they just don’t jibe well with the people and animals I share my home with. I’ve come to love water-based media–my current favorites are acrylic gouache and Flashe vinyl paint–as I’m able to work and re-work paintings rather quickly. I think there are slow painters and fast painters and I tend to be in the latter category; most of my paintings are done in one painting session. Having a studio in my house has also affected what I paint. My paintings tend to focus on domestic, everyday experiences. I walk around the house and see beauty in the dirty dishes in the sink, or the tulips on the dining room table, or the shape of my son as he bends down to tie his sneakers. I often start painting directly in front of the object that inspired it, but then I take it into my studio and try to make it an interesting combination of shapes and colors rather than a literal translation of what I saw. So, it’s a mix of direct observation, some use of photographs, and some borrowing from imagined spaces. I’ve also become very interested in digital painting on my iPad. There’s such an immediacy to the process and there’s no feeling of preciousness that there is sometimes with traditional materials. I find that it encourages me to experiment and take more risks.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
I think the biggest challenge facing artists today is determining where their next paycheck will come from. The internet and the proliferation of social media sites have made getting an audience for one’s work easier in many ways, but the problem of getting people to actually buy art remains. The challenges are compounded for artists who are primary caregivers for children–it’s hard to make art or accomplish any work for that matter, in stolen moments.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
People can see my work online through my website (www.nancygruskin.com) and on Instagram (nancygruskin). I try to keep both updated with my exhibition schedule. People are also always welcome to visit my studio to see work in person–a very friendly Golden Retriever acts as the gallery receptionist. Archival art prints of my iPad drawings are available online at https://nancygruskin.bigcartel.com/.
- Website: www.nancygruskin.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nancygruskin/
- Other: https://nancygruskin.bigcartel.com/