Come see Seattle printmaker Nancy Reithaar’s show now in our gallery and you’ll see the prolific results of an enthusiastic year of exploration of her craft. Within the masterfully rendered forms of her long-favored subjects—shore birds, wolves, fish and other wild creatures—patterns and textures dance together in vivid colors. The natural grace of her blue herons will draw you in from across the gallery, but see what you discover as you move in for an up-close look.
Nancy believes that “the natural world is a doorway into more formal aspects of form, color, composition and abstract elements.” In this exhibition it’s clear that she has walked through that doorway and beyond, having mastered those formal aspects well enough to improvise with them like a jazz musician riffing into a solo in the middle of a well-loved standard. The result is a body of work which balances representational accuracy with a joyful energy of expression.
Nancy’s path to printmaking started as a desire to become an excellent draftsperson. Inspired as a child by illustrations in favorite books such as Frances the Badger and Billy and Blaze, she appreciated and admired the skill of drawing well, and longed to master it herself. Years later, choosing to earn her BFA at University of Washington in painting because it was the closest she could get to drawing, she soon found herself in a printmaking class—a requirement towards her Painting degree. The self-described “impatient artist” had found her medium.
Smitten with the tactile immediacy of the monotype process, Nancy embraced the ability to play with technique and see the results through the press quickly, with an effect that was unattainable in painting with a brush. She’s been experimenting with monotype ever since, incorporating collage as she layers cut-outs of her own printed material on a prepared paper. Skillfully executed, each work evokes a special relationship with its viewer, as much as it reveals the relationship of the artist to her subject.
Don’t miss Nancy Reithaar’s gorgeous exhibition, running through November 26.
Nancy demonstrated printmaking at BAC during our first Saturday Artist’s Insight session on November 4. Watch video below for a taste of her captivating presentation.