According to Nancy Cawdrey, "Whatever medium I am working in, I like to mix color on the surface of the painting--giving the work more immediacy and spontaneity--what I call spirited painting. [On silk] I [can] really float brilliant color with spirit and gusto." -Art Life, Fall/Winter 2001-2002
Nancy Townsend Cawdrey is the daughter of a retired career officer, fortunate enough to be exposed to exotic cultures throughout her childhood. In whatever country her father was stationed, Nancy immersed herself in the culture, and her affection for the arts later led her to study two years in Paris and another five years in Britain.
Nancy Cawdrey loves color, texture and pattern. She began her painting career 35 years ago and worked predominately in watercolor. Through her pursuit for texture and passion for color, Nancy discovered the spontaneity and brilliance she could create through painting on silk, a Chinese technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. And, although silk painting is now her medium of choice, she continues to explore a variety of subjects in watercolor, pastel, oil and experimental media. Often, we see a mixture of media in her silk compositions. Through this overlaying of various media she creates buoyant color and texture with her combination of transparent pigment and the shimmer of silk.
A colorist with a strong sense of design, the work of Nancy Cawdrey always evokes a response, whether she is creating one of her signature western figure pieces, a breathtaking landscape, a quiet corner of Venice, or a vibrant floral.
Nancy Cawdrey moved to Montana 22 years ago and settled near Bigfork on Fox Creek Slough near Flathead Lake where Montana’s expansiveness serves as the primary inspiration for her work. She also enjoys traveling to the Southwest and abroad to paint on-site plein air studies.
Represented in galleries in Santa Fe, Tucson, Bozeman, Jackson, Cody, and Bigfork, the work of Nancy Cawdrey is included in invitational art shows across the West. She is a 2003 Featured Artist for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and received “Artists’ Choice ” award by her peers at the 2002 Treasure State Invitational Art Show and Peoples’ Choice at the Annual Missouri Flyfishers Art Auction. Nancy Cawdrey participates in the annual C.M. Russell Show and Auction in Great Falls, Montana each March, and is a Signature Member of the Montana Watercolor Society. Her work is exhibited in many private and corporate collections across the country and in Europe.