Nancy Sullivan | watercolors

About Nancy


As a child, Nancy always was interested in drawing. To keep her out of her folk’s hair they would hand her the comic page of the newspaper, a paper grocery bag and a pencil and she would be occupied for hours. Trying to draw Charlie Brown’s round head has evolved into many exhibitions, jurying art shows, and teaching in her own studio in Loveland, Ohio. Her paintings can be found in corporate and private collections from coast to coast.

A long-standing member of the historic Cincinnati Art Club, Nancy served on the board several times and years ago was privileged to be a participant in “Reginald Grooms Circle.”

Family has always come first for Nancy, yet she has found time for art classes and instruction, locally and out of state. In choosing an instructor she looked for painters whose art she admired. In the tri-state she has studied with Mary Helen Wallace, Jack Meanwell, Ray Loos, Don Dennis, Tom Bluemlein, Marilyn Phyliss, George Stum and Chuck Marshal. Outside of the tri-state Nancy learned from Edgar Whitney, Alex Powers, Carlton Plummer, Tony Couch, Fred Graff, Judy Betts and Charles Souvek.

Nancy’s list of things to remember
when creating a watercolor:

  1. Choose a meaningful subject. Then design and draw it keeping in mind the ‘Golden Mean’, the necessity of a star, co-star and supporting cast. Ninety percent of your painting should be the thought process.
  2. Be sure to add varied lines and interesting edges. I will sometimes hum my design. Crazy? Maybe, but if you picture your subjects as musical notes and if it has harmony you have a good thing.
  3. Concentrate on shapes and your center of interest or ‘star’.
  4. Next, splash in exciting colors. The star of your painting or your point of interest should have colors of the highest contrast and strongest values.
  5. Finally, manipulate the paint. Make it interesting by varying brush strokes, letting the water carry the pigment and mix some of your color on the paper. Let dry and use a series of glazes or layer to add dimension. Watercolor always dries lighter so if it looks too dark it may be just right when dried.
  6. Stop and look at it again tomorrow with fresh artist’s eyes. Sometimes it needs longer than a day or two. Remember that you can always improve and try and relax and enjoy the pleasure of watching the water and the pigment react with one another. Be playful. It’s only a piece of paper and if it does’t work you will have learned in the process and can begin anew.