Nancy Cohen is an artist in the Arts Xchange and a member of the WADA Board of Directors. She is a classical oil painter in the style of the Old Masters – lots of light and shadow and drama. And even though she was trained in the classical tradition, she is hardly conventional. To put it bluntly, she loves food. She likes to eat it and she likes to paint it! Her series called “THIS IS HOW I GOT SO FAT” features cakes and cupcakes, candy, ice cream, and a parade of pears and apples that look like a line of rockettes.
Nancy believes the secret to happiness is in noticing and appreciating the beauty in the everyday things of life. In her work, she tries to elevate the small and ordinary into something extraordinary. And she’s learned one important truth in art – EVERYONE loves a painting of a huge donut!
You can see her work at nancycohenstudio.com
We asked Nancy a few questions about her art and inspirations:
How long have you been a full-time artist? What other work do you do?
I've been a full time artist for 20 years. Before that, I was a respiratory therapist, a child care counselor, a professional fundraiser, I wrote really good computer manuals, I was a junior bond analyst, a professional speech writer, and the Director of Communications for a large NYC bank. When I was 50 I gave it all up and spent 3 years drawing and painting at the Art Students League of New York. After that I was hooked on being a painter and stopped earning any money.
What is your medium and why?
Oil painting. I love the smell and the gushy feel of the paint and the translucency.
What inspires you?
Beauty. Ordinary things that get transformed by light into something magical.
What's it like to be an artist in St Pete?
Why did you join the ArtsXchange and how has it informed your work?
I joined because I love people and painting and I get both at the ArtsXchange. I never liked the isolation of being an artist. I've been influenced by the very different work of the people around me and I know I've grown as an artist by being there.
What else arouses your passion besides art?
I'm a fairly high stakes poker player. I love the game, I love the degenerates who play, and I love the competition. But I'm not a gambler. I study the game, play the odds, and try to make the right decisions at every juncture. It's a good strategy in poker and in life.
Finally, is there anything else you'd like to say?
Yes. Wear a mask!