Artist Nancy West

An example of fine art by Nancy West

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I am often asked, “When did your interest in art begin? My answer has always been that I have been drawing and painting since I was able to hold a crayon or brush. I was not  always a responsible artist, however. One of my earliest artistic memories involves drawing on the wallpaper in my childhood home and then, to avoid blame, signing my little brother’s name to my work. My devious plan backfired, though, because my brother was too young to write his name. I grew up in an artistic environment. My mother and grandmother were both painters, and my father was a surgeon specializing in reconstructive surgery (a creative art form of a different sort). They could not have been more supportive of my desire to learn how to draw and paint, although I was undoubtedly punished for the wallpaper episode.
At the age of 10 I was chosen to be part of a group of talented children to attend a special weekend class at Carnegie Museum, and later at Carnegie Institute of Technology. My father drove me into Pittsburgh every Saturday morning for six years until I was old enough to drive myself. This program probably had more influence in my career choice than any other training I have ever received. Imagine the foundation I received studying at university level with a group of extremely talented peers from the time I was in middle school until I was graduated from high school.
I studied art at The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where I was graduated with high honors for my thesis work in portraiture. Several of my paintings emerged from studies I did in the wards of Eastern State Mental Hospital and from photographs I took of working commercial watermen in New England. As an adult, I [...]

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