February 1, 2014
Filed Under South Tahoe Art Scene
This sweet painting by South Lake Tahoe artist Nancy Clarke captures summertime at one of her favorite places – the Tahoe Tallac Historic Site which is the stage for the annual Vallhalla Valhalla Arts & Music Festival.
Nancy calls her work Tahoe Pleasures, expressed in her painting shown here.
Nancy’s love of art started with grade school art projects, continued through high school classes and on into majoring in art at the University of Illinois. She did drawing, composition, sculpture and graphic arts, but mostly painting. Nancy is a member of the Tahoe Art League and has shown her paintings at the Tallac Historic Site.
In 1994 during painting classes at the California Art Institute in Westlake Village, CA she learned the importance of value, color and technique. She regularly has paintings in the Brewery Art Center Gallery in Carson City, NV and The East Fork Gallery in Gardnerville, NV.
When my granddaughter asked why I don’t paint “make believe,” my first response was that I like to paint real places. But, her question did provoke more thought on the subject. I can’t remember when I first started to appreciate the land around me, from the majestic Sierras to a quiet vignette of a stream as seen through a space in the trees. I have spent much time in Sierras hiking, skiing and photographing. They always invoke a sense of awe. One of the most spectacular drives is up the Eastern side of those towering ramparts from Lone Pine through Carson Valley. There are other favorite places to paint, such as the Mother Lode Country, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, California Wine Country, Glacier/Waterton Parks, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.
But, I find myself coming back to those Sierra scenes. I love how the snow lies in those great crevasses or the play of sunlight and shadow on fresh snow, sometimes laced with the tiny prints of a small creature. I also love the reflections in still water, the colors and light in a moving stream and the split wood and wire fences that contour the Sierra foothills. And what landscape artist could resist the blaze of those “Aspens” in the fall? Seriously, I love painting the “Western Landscape.” I love experiencing, photographing it and painting it. I paint with oils in a representational, impressionistic style; emphasizing the color of the “High Sierra.” For me, the landscape presents itself so well; I see no reason to abstract it. I hope my paintings convey a sense of awe for the world around us.