How did you get started and then develop your career?
Nina Cobb Walker: After years of attending art events and plein air sessions with my mother, Lee Cobb, a local artist, and her artist friends, I finally realized I really liked to do this. I had a lot of exposure to art growing up, and after my first child was born, I didn’t have to work full-time; I had the opportunity to pursue my interest in art. I worked with stained glass, pastels, and watercolors. After meeting a Russian artist who made El Paso his home, his work made my heart sail, and I knew I wanted to paint in oils. He became my teacher, mentor, friend, and to this day is a huge influence in my art. I realize that the more I know, the more I don’t know. I continue to paint, read, go to art shows, exhibits, and museums.
I feel that my career began to take off once I was accepted into art exhibits, festivals, and publications. I was lucky enough to even win some awards. Knowing that I wanted to always paint at a higher level, find my own voice, and continue to challenge myself to grow as an artist, I began teaching and attending art conventions. I had the opportunity to see high level artists demonstrating their technique and learn about marketing. I was able to take my career in a more positive direction. I was gaining recognition and really finding my own voice and style. As a result, I was chosen by a gallery, Cate Zane, who represents me and they have been a big boost to my career with weekly newsletters, promotions, and exhibits.
Now, I find myself delving deeper into subject matter; at the moment, I am working on a collection of large pieces, a challenging area for me—painting the eastside of the Franklin Mountains and trying to convey the beauty and magnificence of the area.
How do you describe success?
Success to me is my art patrons purchasing my art to hang in their home to be part of their life, and when I see my students continue to grow, learn, and be successful. My success also comes from the support of my family and collectors.
How do you find inspiration?
As a native El Pasoan who loves the border and the southwest region, with its varied landscapes, my surroundings are a constant source of inspiration. As a trailside impressionist, I try to convey feelings of peace and tranquility in my work. I live on the east side of the Franklin Mountain (Tom Lea’s inspiration) and have a wonderful view of El Paso, New Mexico, and Mexico landscapes. However, lots of thing inspire me: Waking up in the morning, going for a morning walk, enjoying what we are given every day, my family, and my friends. I wouldn’t make it without them.
What is the best thing about being an artist?
The best thing about being an artist is meeting people who are inspired by art and nature, attending art events, and seeing all of the amazing art that is out there.
Who do you collect?
I think I have a nice collection of people that I admire and have had the opportunity to work with: Aleksander and Lyuba Titovets, Kevin McPherson, Carolyn Anderson, John Hanna, Brad Holt, along with my colleagues and students. If I see something that I can’t live without, I make an effort to get it. I also have an extensive collection of art books.
To see more of Nina’s work, visit: www.ninacobbwalker.com