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Nancyanne Cowell

Nancyanne Cowell, BFA, MBA, LFC

Fine Arts Honours, (With Distinction)

Federation of Canadian Artists

Born in Ottawa, Nancyanne Cowell grew up in the farmlands, lakes and greenbelt-country of southern Ontario. Cowell made a life-altering decision to complete two degrees at the University of Victoria. She studied fine arts, business and ecology. This complexity profoundly affected her contemporary approach to painting, as her progressive style is both experimental and referential. Cowell's illuminated ecoscapes of living ecosystems are filled with the cyclical nature of life and loss, and resonate with sensuous vibrations. Her artistic instincts merge from a past teaching career, specialized in sustainability marketing. After a rewarding educational career, Cowell turned and embraced her life-long passion for painting, as a professional artist dedicated to her ecoscapes. Life has its way of calling out. For her it was the call of unstoppable paint to feed and restore our soul.

Cowell attended the University of Victoria and earned a BFA in Painting, With Honors and With Distinction; while undertaking studies in Environmental Philosophy. To further inform her artwork, Cowell continued her understanding of society, and earned an MBA degree. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. Cowell is peer-recommended, published and academically book-selected as an influential artist of inspiration and motivation, for her provocative ecoscape-paintings and life journey with the land. She lives with her family in the rural-seaside town of Cordova Bay, British Columbia.

Artist Statement

How people inhabit their space and how society transforms place, our Earth, interests me. Painting in the 21st century, at a time when technology, our culture and our physical world are changing at rapid speed, I express the relationships between our urban, built environment and the natural, wild environment. For me, this is a vibrant whisper of our collective life. Often, reconstructed canvas-shapes provide the compositional surface for my ecoscape paintings. These become new worlds upon which to illuminate the cyclical life our living ecosystems provide — reconciling my emotional interconnection with nature. My affectionate love for all that our changing world threatens and the moment of catharsis.


Thoughts on Creating

Molded by the word, the process of painting is significant to my work. Each ecoscape begins with a title and the poetic quality guides how I respond. Physically, I construct the internal and external edges of my ecoscapes. Within this constructed space, I compose using a cyclical process parallel to nature. By adding and subtracting, the surface is disturbed and restored several times before completion. Inspirational artistic influences include American Abstract Expressionists, particularly Mark Rothko because of his ability to illicit feelings in his large canvases. Also, I am fascinated by how the European Romanticists were able to capture atmosphere and light with colour, sometimes even by just using slight tonal shifts, and I recreate these ideals in new and unexpected ways.