We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Torns and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” Robert Hughes I love this quote…I think most artists struggle with confidence, often asking themselves “is this piece, good enough”, “am I a good artist”, “can I create another great piece.” The questions and doubts are endless and if you let them consume you, your creativity is diminished. The quote lets me realize that it’s ok and really, a normal and good process to have a measure of self doubt.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My pieces are made up of layers of acrylic paint and glaze combined to create texture and rich depths of color. The viewer instantly has an urge to touch the canvas –- to dip a finger in a pool of water or sky –- to not only see, but feel the emotion of the painting. My art is often described as luminous and lustrous, both rich and understated. I paint and glaze to create not only a profusion of color but also a bold, minimalist statement that can be stark, comforting, or electric. It gives me great pride and a deep sense of self worth and satisfaction when clients own and love pieces that I too feel the same about. To see how my art brings drama, beauty and a touch of aesthetic appeal to the environments of homes and businesses is extremely gratifying. For me, the journey has been somewhat short. I have always had a deep appreciation for art and music, but didn’t pursue these interests until I retired after a career as a Development Director for several San Diego organizations. I feel fortunate that I can devote as much or as little time now in my retirement years to this wonderful endeavor. My art studio, located in my backyard is truly a sanctuary of all things I love…art, music, garden, fountain, light, the smell of wood, and a place to write a quick personal note and yes, even pay bills.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
After a week in San Diego, my best friend would go home, pack their bag and relocate. They would have enjoyed an array of delicious food San Diego has to offer. Some of my favorite places to eat include Alexander’s, The Smoking Goat, Ponces, Et Voila. There is no shortage of fabulous places to visit. I would include Balboa Park, our incredible San Diego Zoo, our sun-filled beaches and short day trips to the mountains. The mix of these places with the rich cultural gifts of our San Diego Symphony and theatre venues is so appealing. Of course, we couldn’t leave out visits to Art on 30th and so many interesting art galleries, museums and parks.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My art journey began, and continues with, the instruction and mentorship of Kate Ashton, owner of the Ashton Gallery Art On 30th. Ashton Gallery is an integral part of the bustling art center that’s located in the trending Arts & Culture District of North Park. It is at this location that I participate in the mentorship program for San Diego artists who don’t necessarily need to take more classes but want to grow through community and professional critique. A group of approximately 15 artists meet at Art on 30th each Thursday for this unique experience of collaboration, mentorship and friendship. I must give a shoutout to these artists who have encouraged and guided me along the way. Another person I must recognize is my friend and artist Liz Jardine. Through her abundance of generosity of time, talent and resources, she has loved and encouraged me and many other artists. She believes strongly in supporting living artists, and purchases pieces at each and every show she attends.
Facebook: Nancy Torns Contemporary Artists