Monday, June 22, 2009


I've been itching to talk about Nancy Witt for the longest time. I went to her grist mill/home/gallery/studio opening on the 17th of May and had an amazing time. My parents and I drove for two and a half hours in torrential rain from Virginia Beach to Ashland, Virginia. It was well worth the trip to see her converted grist mill and incredibly inspiring "meta-realistic" work. If only I had $8,000, I could buy the above painting, "Ursa Minor." She is one of the only artists I know who successfully compose on a circular stretcher. She's pretty much awesome.

Me, Nancy, and John

I learned about Nancy through my painting instructor, John Morgan. They were friends in graduate school at VCU in Richmond. John would rave to our class about the homemade beer she used to make. John owns a studio and gallery in Lynchburg, Virginia and invited Nancy to display her work. I talked with her about her inspirations, her home, and her earlier work. She was a full-time sculptor for 20 years until becoming a full-time painter in the 1970s, she loves Vermeer and often reproduces his subjects in her paintings, she listens to NPR while she paints, her favorite paint color is Cadmium Red Light, and she paints with sable brushes. Nancy has two sons, Brad Camden and Jeremy Witt. My mother bought one of Jeremy's photographs and two of Brad's old sketches from the 1970s:

Today, Nancy is 72 years young and paints six days a week, eight hours a day. She's represented all over the nation in numerous private collections and museums. Lastly, she opens her home/studio/gallery twice a year to the public.

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