NANCY BOWEN BRITTLE

Nancy Brittle grew up in a small farming community, and after majoring in art and art history at Mary Washington College, she studied painting and sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The following year found her in Paris working in painting and printmaking at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Returning to the USA, she began to teach art in Fredericksburg Virginia, and work on a master’s degree in painting at the American University. Later, she completed a masters in educational psychology at the University of Virginia.

After 37 years as a public school teacher, with a career including teaching English, studio and art history at both the state and regional levels of the Virginia Governor’s School, and directing the Gifted and Talented Program for Fauquier County Public Schools, Nancy has returned to a first love, painting, and also works as an adjuct professor for the University of Mary Washington..

Mystery, surprise, epiphany....these are the content elements behind most of my painting. Sometimes I choose the image because I am seeing it at that moment, and I, myself, am intrigued, or delighted, or have an “aha moment”. Sometimes I choose an image that has lingered in my memory, and continues to fascinate me in some way. If painting can enable us to have conversations, then I hope my work provokes thought and remarks.

Line never leaves me. It is a first love. Color constantly floods my world, but it is a difficult partner, and does not reveal its secrets easily to me. The connections, however, those layers of meaning that painting hold are what now interest me the most.

Raised in the 50’s by a farming father and a teaching mother both of whom gave me a view of the gifts of the earth and the joy literature, I am a romantic, interested in mystery and natural forces. My favorite painters are Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, and Richard Diebenkorn. They can delineate reality in such a way that new physical and intellectual worlds are revealed. I also greatly admire the color, pattern, and intimacy found in the work of The Nabis, Vuillard, and Bonnard.