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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Nancy Johnson Standlee

Mixed Media Landscape, Trees with Collage 12086,  Gessobord with 2″ cradle


Oil on Gessobord
“I have had a hard time settling on one medium and feel like a dilettante at times, taking up one medium and then wanting to learn to work in another.  At age 76, I really don’t have the time to settle down to one medium when there are so many avenues to explore.” ~Nancy Johnson Standlee
Nancy Johnson Standlee grew up in a creative family that made do on little money and lots of ingenuity.  Her parents passed down the gift of “make it yourself” when she was very young.  “One of the earliest memories of my father was me complaining that my doll was bald.  My daddy took the scissors to the family collie and got some snips of hair and glued them with regular old school glue which resulted in a good lesson to me in creativity,” she explains.  Nancy’s interest in making things prompted many forays into collage, crafts, workshops and art classes.  She has done batik, decoupage, gouache, acrylic, watercolor, oil and loads of mixed media.  Retirement has allowed more time for the devotion to fine art including travel for workshops (several from Robert Burridge), memberships in several painting societies, and maintaining her online gallery in Daily Paintworks.  

Tulip Collage, 12081 10×8″ on Gessobord 1″ deep cradle with collaged sides


Bold color, figures of red-haired women, and abstract movement are the staples of Nancy’s work.  She is inspired by the many workshops she’s attended, other artist friends and colleagues, art books (as an ex. librarian) and the ongoing trial and error of new materials.   Nancy’s thoughts on using good art materials means that her brown linoleum kitchen floor might be patched with duct tape, but her artwork, made with the best products available, tends to be more thought out and planned.  Quality art materials lends to better art making. 
Nancy came upon Ampersand panels during a workshop at the Bunkhouse in Texas.  Dena Wenmohs, the owner of Bunkhouse, who also loves using Ampersand panels, took the group on a tour of the factory in Austin to share her enthusiasm.  Nancy found that the prepared surfaces were easier to delve into, with no need to get into a woodshop  or prime wood panels.  Long ago, Nancy discovered the difficulty of trying to frame her own MDF boards without proper tools and know-how.  The cradled Ampersand panels were the perfect fit for her limitations and desires.  They were already stable, sealed and primed, and could be ready to hang in minutes without framing.  Nancy leans towards the Gessobord™ as it work easily for her acrylic, oil paints, or mixed media collage.
New Year, New Celebration, Acrylic on Gessobord
To see more of Nancy’s work, check out her blog, her website or her gallery on Daily Paintworks.
All things Ampersand,
Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Artist & Social Media Specialist
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