5. Nancy J. Wood's Blue Star Portfolio
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6. Project Statement About Portfolio
The portfolio works are digital media images I created based on photographs I took in scenic areas of San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country. I intensify colors and abstract the forms to express mystical qualities one experiences while absorbed in the beauty of nature, by means of the emotional influences of colors and shapes..
My interest in nature is based on scientific studies regarding the healing effects of being in wild and natural areas: stress reduction, increase in immune systems, mental performance, creativity, and better mood. It’s been noted that office workers display happier moods when surrounded by visuals of beautiful flowers, and green is sometimes used to reduce pain and lessen migraines. I’m hoping that emphasis on the beneficial effects of nature will inspire viewers to discover and adopt sustainable practices as well.
My works from this current series have been included in more than fifty regional and national exhibitions and have received many awards including the San Antonio Art League and Museum. Ronald C. Keller in Memory of Betty Keller Sponsor Award. They have been collected by several hospitals, health centers, corporate environments, and individuals. My limited-edition prints that were offered in Blue Star Contemporary’s 2021 Red Dot Sale sold out in the first two weeks.
7. Artist Statement About My Practice
I manipulate the photos primarily in Adobe Photoshop, occasionally adding an element I made in another program. I experiment with color and with shapes to generate different moods and to create a level of abstraction. The images can be printed or projected at various sizes. For prints, I select a substrate that will I feel will best fit the mood of the image, usually canvas or aluminum. On some canvas prints I paint with oils.
My aesthetic approach with digital media is like the abstract expressionist approach I would use with oil paintings; I consider these works to be “digital paintings”. The digital media process requires continual decisions about aesthetics of the image. Working with digital media I usually enter a “flow” state as I did when I painted with oils. I adjust colors, move, and edit shapes, and become completely engrossed in thinking visually about the image. Recently I began using my manipulated images to create animated surreal nature videos in Adobe AfterEffects. I am currently experimenting with different approaches and subject matter so if selected to exhibit at Blue Star I expect to have new pieces ready for display.
I love to paint with oils, but my financial situation has always required that I stay employed full time. Working with digital media enables me to work on art in my computer whenever I have free time, with no clean-up or storage required. The diversity of possible approaches with digital media is mind-boggling, and the ability to make fast, easy edits is incredibly inspiring!
8. Biographical Artist Narrative
A long time Texas resident, I lived in San Antonio as a child until my family moved to Houston. After receiving a National Merit Scholarship, I moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of California, Los Angeles where I received my BA in Studio Art and MFA in Fine Arts. After returning to Houston, I lived there until 1999, then moved back to my beloved San Antonio to make it my permanent home!
During the 1990's I bought a computer and began to teach myself digital media because I believed it would be the future of visual arts. I experimented with 3D, 2D, interactive animations and video. This led me to become successful in digital media. I created most of my early digital images using 3D software. I exhibited with the seminal digital artist groups International Webism and the New York based Visual Arts League; had works included in the Museum of Modern Art New York’s 1999 “Museum as Muse” online exhibition, the 2001 Petersburg "Biennale of Computer Graphics” in St. Petersburg, Russia, and I had solo online exhibits at the 2000 Digital Art Museum and 1998 Las Vegas Art Museum. In 2000 I purchased my first digital camera and began experimenting with digital photos.
For more than twenty years I taught learners at various colleges to use digital media to create art, multimedia, videos, web design and graphic design. My interest in using technology for teaching motivated me to complete a PhD in Educational Psychology concentrating on Educational Technology from Texas A & M University, College Station.
I was one of 10 artists selected for the San Antonio Department of Creative and Cultural Development’s Public Art Mentorship program and I was a featured artist at San Antonio’s 2017 and 2018 Luminaria Contemporary Arts festivals. I am hearing-impaired and won the 2017 Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities’ artist award. My work was featured on posters that were distributed to 2500 state agencies. In 2021 I was a featured artist in the committee’s webinar: “Art Works! Careers in the Visual Arts and People with Disabilities”.