“I’d Rather be Painting” an Exhibition by Nancy Aitcheson


Meet Nancy

Nancy Aitcheson began painting with watercolors as a young adult. Although she has formal fine art and graphic design training, she still considers herself self-taught. Painting primarily from life, Nancy works in oil and watercolor. Her oils are realistic, while her watercolors are loose and colorful. Early on, she focused on landscape and portrait commissions and pieces she sold at art fairs.

Later, Nancy worked as a full-time graphic designer at Michigan State University. Semi-retired now, her creative energy is devoted to painting still lifes, people in everyday situations, interiors, and plein air landscapes. Intuition guides her subject matter with a goal that each painting will be better than the last.

Nancy has exhibited at ArtPrize, and her painting “Small Town Gossip” was chosen as a promotional piece for Birmingham’s “Our Town Exhibit.” She also received the competitive HealthPlus of Michigan Rainmaker Award for a painted ceramic tile piece. As a graphic designer, she won the National Agricultural Alumni Association’s Publication and Project Award, first place for the MSU Sesquicentennial Commemorative Envelope contest and the Study Abroad Display Contest (two years in a row).

Nancy continues to work part-time as a graphic designer at Michigan State University. Her love and appreciation of fine art is complemented by newly found time. She enjoys spending time with her husband, three daughters, five grandchildren and two cats.

Artist Statement

As a painter, I’m inspired by still life, landscapes and people in everyday situations. I typically work in oil on wood panels, or watercolors on cold pressed paper or illustration board. I strive for an interesting composition, clean colors and effective brushstrokes.

I like a more colorful, loose approach and enjoy painting from life and try to do so whenever possible. I look for lost and found edges within a still life. Patterns created by shadows and light and dark contrast are the main attraction in landscapes. I find the simple shapes and gestures of ordinary people in everyday life interesting.

Starting out, I was Influenced by the work of other artists and tried to emulate them; over time, I realized that every artist’s goal is to develop and refine their own, unique, individual style.