During her life as a painter, Nancy Tankersley has moved fluidly from portraiture to still life and figurative paintings and finally on to landscapes. “I think it is important for contemporary artists to capture the land and the people as they are today. I do not try to romanticize or invent my subjects, but I do try to show the beauty of the ordinary. People engaged in their occupations, enjoying their leisure time by eating, shopping or just strolling down a street, as well as abandoned and often overlooked landscapes … all of these are ordinary subjects, which can make extraordinary paintings. I try to paint from life as much as possible so that my work has the authenticity that comes from capturing a moment in time.”
The breadth of her themes has enabled her to draw what she has learned from each and apply that knowledge with conviction in one painting. In this recent painting, At the Edge of the Village, Tankersley draws upon her memory of time spent in a small French village where she taught for three summers. Aided by plein air sketches and photos from the same spot, Tankersley was able to combine different elements to come one up with this dynamic composition. Much of this painting was painted with palette knives and other tools in addition to traditional brushes.
Tankersley has recently published a book of her first figurative theme, figures on the beach, that contains 64 color images of paintings from the past 25 years. On the Beach is available through her website.