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Art & Life with Nancy Eckels

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nancy Eckels.

Nancy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My parents met in an oil painting class. My aunts and uncles on my mother’s side were artists. My sister is an artist. So what did I do? I went into television production for 25 years and dabbled a bit at art. Then 20 years ago I decided to do my art full time. Having started this career late, I wanted a way to get my work in front of a lot of people quickly, so art festivals and fairs became a big part of my life for almost 20 years. Just last year I decided to stop traveling and concentrate on selling my work online, through art consultants, and in galleries. Of course, giving up the travel has given me more time to paint….a big plus in my book.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My paintings are highly textured, abstract and reflect my mood of the day. I’m sure a healthy dose of inspiration comes from my Dad who took the family to many national parks when I was young, and instilled a love of nature, color, and the great outdoors. He took us fishing and hiking and was forever stopping at viewpoints along the way to take pictures of everything he saw. My mother taught us our first art lessons, setting up still life displays for us to paint.

I begin with the texture, sculpting and manipulating the paste until I have what I want. I allow it to dry, I sand it, and then begin working on composition and color layering. Adding and subtracting paint are key steps in the finished painting, as well as a healthy dose of constantly changing shapes. I love drama, so I tend to like contrast, dark vs. light, using complimentary colors, and strong color against neutrals. The process is experimental, I just keep working until I’m done. It’s finished when it speaks to me.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
Making a living selling art can be uplifting, wonderfully creative, and a life filled with freedom, but plan on having to focus on many different styles of marketing. Unless you are very lucky, it’s a bit of a long road to success when you are an artist.

Conditions for artists today have such a huge range. When the economy tanks, so do art sales, so you have to get even more creative to be able to get through the tough times. Cities can continue to offer grants to artists for public art, and corporations can continue to decorate new buildings and old with paintings and sculpture. Both are very helpful. On the other hand, many artists are having great sales because they are creating something with broad appeal.

I also believe, with the popularity of tech, fewer younger people are purchasing art. I think, in part, this is also a result of having less emphasis on art and creativity in the early years of school. It’s a trend that doesn’t benefit anyone.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Some of my smaller and medium works, and work based on my love of the ocean can be seen at Pacific Edge Gallery in Laguna Beach, CA. All of my work can be seen on my website, If you would like to see my paintings as they are finished, you can sign up for my email list, either on my website or my blog. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have questions about my work, I’m happy to respond to emails. You can write to me at

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nancy Eckels
Donald Thorne

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