“If you expect one thing from me, you will not advance with me.” -Nancy Bossert
my recent October Artist Profile article in the Easton Irregular newspaper
Ever since I moved to Easton 10 years ago, I have admired Nancy Bossert’s work. I frequently saw her art at Connexions, one of the galleries that represents her locally.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down and have coffee with Nancy, and we had a lovely conversation about art. She is an energetic and confident person, and as we drank our coffee together, she talked candidly about her work.
Almost everything inspires her to create art. “It’s a constant barrage,” she says. “Everywhere, I see the lines, the angels, the compositions…” Since she was very young, she has always known she wanted to be an artist. She describes her desire to create as a strong and intimate force in her life. “It’s so innate. It’s so passionate.”
This passion manifests itself in a seemingly diverse body of work, encompassing representative figurative paintings, abstract pieces, fiber arts, stoneware, and jewelry, to name just a few elements. But there always is a common thread, and it’s not just the unity in value, composition, and palette, but also that more nebulous characteristic of art, which can’t be put into words exactly. This is what I might call the artist’s spirit, which shines clearly out of everything she makes.
Some artists might find it daunting to have so many options available to them, but Nancy obviously thrives in this freedom. She doesn’t see her different styles and mediums as vastly separate things; they inspire and influence each other in a seamless interconnectivity. “For example,” she explains, “The abstract informs my figurative pieces. And vice versa.”
For her paintings, she again embraces a multitude of options: oil, acrylic, watercolor, gesso, and more. She likes to explore the combination of mass and linear elements in the same piece, juxtaposing the volume of a figure, for instance, and the roundness of the form, with the two-dimensional qualities of line and abstract shapes, reminding people that it’s a painting!
I personally find her pieces very evocative and narrative provoking. For example, her series of female figures submerging, or rising from the water, leads me to reflect on what it means to be a woman, to be hidden, invisible, or else to emerge, to reveal oneself to a public gaze. It seems to me that as a group, women have been silenced for various reasons, and that many have hidden stories which have not yet been told. Through her painting, Nancy begins to tell these stories. At least, that is some of my interpretation.
Bossert works constantly. She describes a disciplined studio practice: she gets up early, checks her computer, and then gets to work in her studio where she lives in Nazareth, PA. Sometimes she knows exactly what she wants to do from the beginning, and she works straight through the day. She values good craftsmanship, whether it’s abstract or figurative, or something else. Integrity is a top value.
In addition to being an artist, Nancy is also a teacher. For the past 40 years, she has taught all ages, publicly and privately. It’s clear that she enjoys teaching; her experience as a teacher generates inspiration for her studio work. “I’m not creating artists, but creative thought,” she remarks, describing her teaching philosophy. She wants to teach people how to create a different way of looking at a situation.
On her website, Nancy clearly sums up her enthusiasm for what she does:
“The excitement is to love what you do with such a passion, and creating fine art and teaching is just that. I find that I am eager to learn and experiment everyday and equally as passionate to educate others.”