Inspired and aware: Local artist displays her wares |

Inspired and aware: Local artist displays her wares

Andrew Harley
Vail Daily/Bret HartmanLocal artist Nancy Andresen will be showing this work-in-progress landscape along with almost all of her paintings.

Some people say that certain inspiration stems from memories.

When moments strike us with their beauty in an indelible and timeless manner, we become prone to experience them again through a common detail or feeling.

An orange sky, a yellow-green haze of fireflies in the misty dusk light of a childhood meadow, falling in an untouched powder field on a sunny day, can be remembered in moments later in our lives, causing inspiration.

Often, inspiration comes for no apparent reason, but when local artist Nancy Andresen thinks about the first time she saw Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” she knows why she’s inspired to paint.

“It was amazing. She looked vibrant, real, as if she could come out of the painting if she wanted to,” said Andresen. “He (Da Vinci) gets across so much emotion in her facial expression.”

Andresen was 10 years old when her parents took her to The Louvre, and, though she began drawing at the age of five, the visit inspired her to begin oil painting.

“I had to oil paint on paper because I didn’t have any canvas,” she said.

Andresen studied art throughout high school, where she excelled in creative writing, sculpture and painting.

She earned a college degree in commercial design, and is currently working on her bachelor’s in computer science.

Andresen did one art show in college, entering an abstract crayon drawing after the urgings of a professor.

“I thought it was my worst piece of art,” she said. “Actually, I think my teacher still has it.”

It wasn’t until she joined the Boulder Art Association that Andresen began showing her work on a regular basis.

“I did shows and wrote grants,” she said.

She won a few first places – one for an airbrush painting of a fox, and another for a landscape, which sold a number of times.

“It actually sold before I gave it to my mother,” she said. “But, somehow she got it, and now she won’t give it up.”

Andresen is first-generation Norweigen. During her childhood, Andresen’s parents took her along on their travels all over Europe.

Andresen has a variety of work, and while most of it tends toward the abstract, she also does murals, pet portraits and landscapes on commission.

“My work has a lot of variation, but I have a constant color palate and brush style,” she said.

Andreson cites the Renaissance masters, including Henner, Monet, Van Gogh and Leonardo, as her major influences.

“Art is an expression of my soul,” she said. “I think all artists have a strong attachment to their work.”

Andresen dreams of buying a van, throwing all her paintings in it and traveling to art shows all over the country with her husband, Ali, her dog, an American-Eskimo named Naboo, and her two cats, Malous and Aby.

“I’d probably start out with two a year,” she said.

However, when she finishes her computer science degree, she might go into animation.

“I have an analytical and logical mind as well as a creative one,” she said. “I’ve dabbled in music and written a lot of poetry. I like to integrate my poetry into my paintings.”

Andresen’s work will be on display at her home Saturday and Sunday as part of the Art Studio Tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A local artists’ reception will be held in Brush Creek Park in Eagle Thursday from 5-8 p.m. to preview the studio tour.

For more information on Nancy Andresen, visit her website at for directions to her studio call her at 524-0445.

Andrew Harley can be contacted at 949-0555 ext. 610 or at

Artsy County

Local Artists’ Reception previewing the Art Studio Tour

Brush Creek Park, Eagle

Thursday, 5-8 p.m.

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