Today, I’d like to introduce you to the illustrator behind “Debbie,” scheduled to launch this coming Saturday at All on the Same Page Bookstore. If you’re local, be sure to stop in and meet Nancy and author Conny Manero via Skype, starting around 10:30 a.m. CST.
Everyone at RHP is thrilled with Nancy’s drawings, and we hope to continue using her work on additional projects!
Who is Nancy Matson? Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in St. Louis County, Missouri and lived more than 50 years in Creve Coeur , Maryland Heights, and Chesterfield before making the big move to Colorado. I went to Ladue High School and Washington University … later getting a 2nd degree in Music Therapy at Maryville University. My two daughters lived parts of their childhoods on a farm that was in my family for over 100 years. That was when I discovered a passion for gardening and landscaping as well as anything outdoors…though horseback riding was always my love since riding at the old pony track at the Bar X Ranch on Lindbergh. Moving to Colorado offered further opportunities for those interests as well as meeting and working with other artists, both beginners and accomplished professionals.
When did you first start drawing, and what kinds of things did you draw?
I started at an early age (maybe 6), with my Jon Gnagy drawing set and Walter Foster Art Books … using pencil and charcoal, and mostly drawing horses. I continued drawing just for fun and then as a young adult tried painting horses and horse portraits in acrylic and oil. Then I was eager to get to really painting when I moved to Estes Park, CO and took some painting classes- mostly watercolor – and even tried “plein aire” painting.
Your bio mentions that you took some art classes – high school? College? Since then?
I took a general high school art which included some ceramics and other media. During the summer I took a plein aire watercolor class from Mr. Harmon, the high school art teacher – we went out on location. I still have some of those early paintings. In college I took Art Appreciation … nothing hands on, but art history and got a “C” … the only “C” in all my college days, and I remember vividly Mr. Smith who gave it to me. I’ve also taken a few classes in photography since moving to Colorado.
Have you ever been published before? Have you ever exhibited any of your work?
I have never been published. I did exhibit a couple of years ago in the “First Show” exhibit at the Cultural Art Center in Estes Park … it was for artists who had not exhibited … it was great fun to see some of my watercolors hanging in the gallery.
In what mediums do you work besides watercolor and sketching?
I have worked some in pencil and pen and ink, but am fascinated by watercolor and how the colors mix and blend right on the paper…there are a lot of techniques I have learned from several watercolor classes here … just need to make myself take more time to keep at it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I continue to garden with xeriscape flowers and plants in the arid mountains, plus vegetables … the growing season is short at 7800 feet elevation, but fun to try. My one goal would be to start a Community Garden in our town, but difficult with the climate and the elk and deer who eat everything that is not fenced. I still ride horses, hike, read, play guitar, and love cooking and eating. And the St. Louis Cardinals.