Nancy Tankersley began her career as a portraitist but entered the gallery scene with figurative paintings of people at work and at leisure. Currently as she searches for the unpredictable, Tankersley moves between landscape, figures and still life. Incorporating non-traditional tools, supports and technologies for her paintings she remains faithful to her impressionistic style.
Active in the current plein air movement, and a founder of Plein Air Easton, she travels worldwide participating in competitions, judging and teaching. Most recently, she was the Featured Artist at the 49th Annual Waterfowl Exhibit and Festival in Easton, Maryland where she featured paintings of watermen at work.
My years as a portrait painter and studio painter and then as a plein air painter have given me the experience and skills to paint “things”. And often these things had narratives that I could use to evoke an emotion that I could share with the viewer. In recent years I have returned more and more to the studio where I could explore the paints and surfaces and experiment with new painting techniques and tools. My most recent work is more about memory, imagination and emotion. As Thomas Cole the famous Hudson River landscape artist said “If the imagination is shackled, and nothing is described but what we see, seldom will anything truly great be produced either in Painting or Poetry.” (Thomas Cole to Asher B. Durand, 1838) But without understanding the fundamental principals of painting representationally and having a solid foundation for each painting, trying to express intangible qualities when creating a painting is a hard task. Rules can be broken, but knowing the rules in the first place are an important part of the process of learning.