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The Ultimate Free Spirit

BY TRACY RISUCCI
JULY, 2021

An uber talent and super personality, Nancy Rosen has been creating art for 60 years.  When an “aha” moment 28 years ago told her to stop giving a shit about what others thought, a creative “volcano erupted” and she’s been drawing people ever since.  Her process is instinctive and her creativity endless. We discovered her work on the Netflix hit Grace & Frankie and that’s a whole other story….

Nancy has been creating in many forms since the age of 5  (think bracelets, stringing beads, leather goods, etc.)  and started selling her art at the age of 7.  However, at her core, Nancy is a drawer – highly prolific with the intellectual discipline of knowing that “a painting has to work”.

She primarily draws figurative works that are inspired from life and never made up.  Her process always starts w/ a model, a stack of paper and no preconceived concept. They pose, she responds in creative bursts lasting 1 min, 3 min, 5 min, maybe 28 min (which “feels like a week!”)  From there she “keeps building” until she’s ready to bring the work into her studio and continues working until the figure feels right – working primarily with oil bars and the use of her fingers, palms, and cloth.

An orthodox community directly outside her studio walls led to the fortuitous creation of “The Boyz” her fascinating series of 35 b/w portraits.  In lieu of posing, this highly religious, respectful group were photographed by her husband, and from there Nancy got to work.  An intention was set to specifically only work on each portrait for a maximum of 60 minutes. (A timer was set in 20 minute intervals).  “The Boyz” took over 2 years to complete and the collection is beyond fascinating.  Striking as individual portraits and incredibly powerful as a gallery.  Our personal favorite..

Nancy Rosen is the ultimate solo act with a “great, creative family” by her side  and husband “she adores.”  She draws everyday with “no end in sight” and as a lifelong Chicagoan continues a 28 year tradition of drawing weekly at the Evanston Art Center.

Her best advice to artists is to just “fucking show up and simply do something… something leads to something else… one mark leads to another…  Be in that space and make it an intentional thing.”   Sounds like good advice to us!

A few of our favorite works below….

Thank you Nancy for making the time to talk with us.  Your art, your journey and your spirit will forever inspire us.

To contact Nancy, please visit:
Email: me@nrosen.com
Website: www.nrosen.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nancyrosenartwork/

#thepeoplebehindthemagic

nancy rosen art
NANCY ROSEN

Elizabeth, 2011
mixed media on paper
50″ x 50″

NANCY ROSEN

Candice, 2009
mixed media on paper
50″ x 50″

nancy rosen art

Untitled, 2009
mixed media on paper
43″ x 30″

nancy rosen art

Fawna, 2021
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

nancy rosen art

Untitled, 2021
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

NANCY ROSEN art

Untitled, 2011
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

NANCY ROSEN painting

Untitled, 2021
mixed media on paper
22″ x 30″

NANCY ROSEN painting art

Untitled, 2006
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

grace and frankie art

Untitled, 2016
mixed media on paper
6″ x 8″

NANCY ROSEN art

DeLawn, 2014
mixed media on paper
22″ x 30″

grace and frankie nancy rosen art

Untitled, 2017
mixed media on paper
6″ x 8″

NANCY ROSEN

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

NANCY ROSEN

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

NANCY ROSEN

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper
30″ x 44″

NANCY ROSEN

Untitled, 2015
mixed media on paper
11″ x 15″

NANCY ROSEN art

Untitled, 2015
mixed media on paper
11″ x 15″

NANCY ROSEN portrait

Untitled, 2015
mixed media on paper
11″ x 15″

NANCY ROSEN art

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper
9″ x 12″  11″ x 15″  10″ x 10″  8″ x 11″  3″ x 9″

NANCY ROSEN

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper
3″ x 9″  8″ x 8″  11″ x 15″  15″ x 11″

NANCY ROSEN

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper
11″ x 15″  7″ x 6″  8″ x 8″  8″ x 12″  8″ x 11″

NANCY ROSEN art patterns

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper

NANCY ROSEN art patterns

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper

NANCY ROSEN art patterns

Untitled, 2019
mixed media on paper

grace and frankie

Untitled, 2006
mixed media on paper
18″ x 18″

NANCY ROSEN art

Untitled, 2006
mixed media on paper
18″ x 18″

NANCY ROSEN yoga art

Untitled, 2006
mixed media on paper
18″ x 18″

NANCY ROSEN grace and frankie art

The Boyz, 2014
mixed media on paper
38″ x 50″

NANCY ROSEN art gallery

The Boyz, 2014
evanston art center

NANCY ROSEN art

The Boyz, 2014
mixed media on paper
38″ x 50″

NANCY ROSEN art

NANCY ROSEN
art studio

NANCY ROSEN art studio

NANCY ROSEN
art studio

NANCY ROSEN art studio

NANCY ROSEN
art studio

nancy rosen and frankie

Nancy Rosen & Lily Tomlin
on the set of grace & frankie