Nancy Rice Early Fine Art

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  • Performance Beginnings

    Visual and performance art runs in my family. I literally followed my mother’s footsteps from the age of three. Her mother ran a dance studio. Grandma Gagi and her instructors taught me ballet and tap from the time I was three until her passing when I was nine.

    After Gagi died my dad got a new job and we moved from Aurora, Illinois to Elkhart, Indiana where music was still taught in elementary school. I moved from dance to music. The school let me choose, band, orchestra or choir. I chose to play string instruments. First the ukulele, then the viola, and while back in Illinois as a teenager, the guitar.

  • Moving into visual

    My interest and talents as a visual artist came mostly from my dad’s side of the family. He was an architect and a woodworker, spending most of his weekends caning chairs, building or refinishing furniture.

    On a coffee table dad had made was often artbooks on Frank Lloyd-Wright, Japanese architecture, Michelangelo, or Leonardo da Vinci. I remember the passion and reverence dad had when we’d sit down together
    and look through them.
    I always loved to color and doodle growing up. When I got into 8th grade my art teacher encouraged me in her class and I began to think I might be able to get good in art. I sold my first painting at the age of sixteen to my science teacher. Later, with the help of my senior year art teacher, I entered and won first prize in a state-wide painting competition. Winning a mini-scholarship to a local community college.

  • Early Adulthood

    After using the scholarship to Waubonsee College, I studied drawing at Northern Illinois University for a year. Between semesters, I flew out to California to spend the summer with a friend. Well, I thought it was just going to be between semesters. That trip turned into a 30-year love affair with the beauty of California. I lived mainly in Northern California enjoying its abundant and diverse flora and for a short time near the beaches of greater Los Angeles.
    During my time in Southern California I earned a degree in studio Art at El Camino College. From this period, I drew and painted live models and found a greater ability to create art from observation.

    I had visited the Chicago Art Institute Museum many times as a teenager, and was most inspired by the Impressionists. The biggest compliment I ever received was from my art teacher at El Camino. One day he looked at a life painting I was finishing of a model holding a trumpet and dressed in a white shirt and overalls and told me my
    brushstrokes on the sleeve were reminiscent of Renoir. I was over the moon with joy!