Contemporary Expression

This Blog Has Moved
March 13, 2010, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Join the conversation at


Sketching Out The Possibilities

Room To Think - Sketch 2008

I have been working on a new painting for a corporate client and believe I may have it finished by the end of the week. When I work on a new project I start by sketching and doodling out memories and ideas and then take them to ink sketch and watercolor and then finally to canvas.

Room To Think - Watercolor 2008

I’m not sure when I started this pattern. I didn’t always paint this way.  When I first started expressing and creating through color, I simply started. There was nothing in between the color the arm and the canvas.  This rendered great things and all of them have long since sold and hopefully continue to bring spontaneity to their owners.

Room To Think - Acrylic on Canvas 2008

In the last few years I’ve become more contemplative about my contemporary expressions. The spontaneity is in the work but the thoughtful way in which I play with the color has brought a maturity to my process and I am happy about it.

As I have been searching for employment I have found the same personality in my process.  I’m carefully considering options based on memory and sketching out the possibilities before moving to canvas.

I received last week a note from a potential new life that simply said; “Thank you!” (exclamation point included) Honestly, it made my day.

I received a form letter for another local nonprofit gig that said; “if one of the top 10 candidates, you will be notified in 4-6 wks to schedule an interview.” Here is the thing, two months from now when you contact those top 10 candidates, they will be in other jobs.  – At least I hope so!

So what have I learned to start the new year? Memory, time, and spontaneity can serve you well when mixed together.

How are you approaching your plans this year? Want to share some of your tips and tricks for others to learn from? Leave a comment and let’s chat.

Happy New Year 2010
January 1, 2010, 7:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

its okay to lounge for a little while

I may have to sell you a ….
December 29, 2009, 3:55 pm
Filed under: Balance, branding, change, Nancy VanReece, Unemployment

Job Search: 16th week  since the lay off.

The Tally: Applied for 48 jobs so far … 90% in Nashville, 10% out of state.

Interviews: zero

No thank you responses: three

Still waiting to hear back: forty-five

Jobs I applied for that I really would like to have: five

I really don’t want to end up selling widgets (defnition 2.) Here is my thing, I am a really good sales person.  If I believe in it, I will find a way for you to believe in it too.  It may take a few hours, it may take a few months, even years.  However, I am extremely tenacious and if I am passionate about something, I will find a way to help you see it.

For now over twenty-five years, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with projects, products and services that I really actually do believe in. For the past fifteen weeks since my lay-off I have had to  get to know all over again the product I believe in the most; myself.

I have been consulting and networking and painting and networking and drinking a lot of coffee. I have been coping by putting my head down and grunting through like a rugby player.

There will be great change in 2010 because there is nothing but change possible.  I have faced this current challenge with equal tenacity to any project I have had before me.  I am grateful for the helpful support and confidence boosting that many friends have given to my little family and look forward to the New Year with anticipation.  I may have to sell you on it.

What are you doing to sell yourself  in 2010?

A Refreshed Artist Statement
May 27, 2009, 12:32 am
Filed under: artwork, branding, change, Nancy VanReece

Artist Statement
No matter what phase of life I am in I have learned to always apply a basic principle to my approach to art: I need color, texture, movement and light or I am just not interested. These fundamental elements form the cornerstone of all of the many ways I express myself, but have their origins in my work on the canvas.
I began my career in contemporary and abstract expression in the mid- 90’s focusing on elemental and nature themes until a hand injury left me without the ability to paint for over 18 months. A retreat to Santa Fe, New Mexico in spring of 2003 renewed my body and my mind with inspiration and guidance from other respected expressionists.
This renewed period in my life produced many changes in my approach to my expression on canvas by encouraging me to create energy and movement in multimedia spaces through multi-layered acrylic and series of antique photographs. I also adopted the method of using water in differing streams of force as well as natural texture elements with acrylic on canvas. These techniques allowed me to more fully express new ideas and inspirations through the use of movement and texture along with color and light.
In 2004 and 2005 I applied my newfound dedication to these four essential elements to any art to several popular series on behaviors, whimsical animals and large scale landscapes. 2006 saw me interpreting show places in my memory or places I wish existed. And I am currently focusing on abstract expressions of people and places of import to my personal continuity and sense of history.
Without what I feel to be the essential elements of expression—movement, texture, color and light—my art would be severely handicapped. History moves us forward in time. The texture of culture, fashion, ethos and ideas make up the fabric of all history. Color has always been a powerful interpreter of emotion and light has shaped all things by shades throughout recorded time.
It is my sincere hope that my approach to the idea that a person is the sum total of all the events, people and places that went before them will resonate in these expressions. If someone walks away having learned that their own journey is an artful one, then I have accomplished my goal. I will have helped by creating an object that tells us the story of what has gone before us in the past that made us what we are and will continue to shape us as we move forward.

I hope that you will join me at Ugly Mugs Coffee & Tea in Nashville, TN during the month of June for a exhibition of new portraits and recent expressions.

The works will be up for viewing at Ugly Mugs as well as on my website as of June 1, 2009

There will be a reception sponsored by Nashville PRIDE on Tuesday June 9th from 5:30-7pm – 50% of the proceeds of any artwork purchased that evening will be donated back to Nashville Pride.

addthis_url=”; addthis_title=”; addthis_pub=’NVanReece’;

Artwork for Non-Profit Silent Auctions

Have you ever purchased artwork at a silent auction? Have you ever donated artwork? What about the experience worked well? What didn’t work well at all? Leave your comments.

Fantasy Landscape 60″ x 36″ by Nancy VanReece

(c) 2007 Contemporary Expression, a div of Carpe Diem Copyright Management All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.
purchased by The Allens at The Nashville Shakespeare Festival Winter Patron Silent Auction to be donated for display at
Hope Exchange Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
When: Friday, April 17th, 2009 6-9pm Where: St. Ann’s Episcopal Church
more information

addthis_url=”; addthis_title=”; addthis_pub=’NVanReece’;

It’s not going to jump up into your mouth

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” I need to be doing, want to be doing, or think I should be doing. I have a pretty good routine but them I get bored and get off the routine and chase nothing for a while.

This time of year the robins start coming back into our garden and I am reminded perennially of their simple process.


They love to study the situation, they look from the trees and then walk along the surface of the lawn. They turn their head and listen for the worms moving below. And then just in time, they snap the food up and move on to the next situation.


As a person working as a fundraiser and manager in the non-profit sector, I feel like that robin. Always looking and then snapping up the food when you hear it moving up to the surface.


What I am also reminded of by these happy birds is just as clear;
don’t dig a 10 foot hole looking for the worm,
don’t expect it to jump up into your mouth.