Artist's Statement

Nancy Macnabb the artistNancy MacNabb BSc, MSc, MD (retired)

I have two sides. I have a cognitive/analytical side that found great excitement, wonder, and satisfaction with science and problem-solving, leading me to three science-based university degrees and a 25 year career in medicine, working as a family doctor mostly in small towns in Ontario, Canada. But I also have an emotional/intuitive side that has always loved the arts. In 2014, when I rediscovered painting, it had been almost 40 years since I had tried anything really artistic. Painting began in a therapeutic fashion to deal with stress, but it exploded into a passion. I retired from medicine in 2018 and choose now to pursue what is my true joy, abstract and contemporary painting.

Acrylic paint is my choice of medium because I paint with emotion - quickly, intuitively, spontaneously - and acrylic paint with its vivid colours, fast drying time, and variety of forms lends itself to this sort of expressive work. At present I use stretched canvas as a surface, and I am beginning to use other water-based media like charcoal, crayon, and watercolour pencils to further enhance my art. I bring paper, cardboard and other textured materials to the canvas on occasion.

I feel my best work is when I pull together my two sides - when the painting has a meaning or message expressed in a striking complex of colour and form. I often explore psychological, sociological, and even spiritual themes. Geometrics, figures, and semi-representative landscapes, too, find their place in my work, although non-representative paintings are a favourite. At the core of all of my artistic work is emotion, but that emotion is often tempered and directed by thought.

Therefore, although my painting is mostly biographical, a portrayal of my inner world, I am certain that this experience is shared by many, being the very human push-and-pull of cognition and emotion.