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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Up Close with Lush Botanicals

Every artist dips their brush into their soul and paints their own nature onto the canvas. Many say to create what you know, and you will love the results. In the sphere of artist Nancy Palmisano what she knows is the world of diverse botany. She states, "I was once a floral designer and an avid gardener. Florals, nature, and landscapes are my inspiration and focus." Nancy has a keen eye for the soft, delicate curves of a flower's petals, the rigid lines of the leaves, and the beauty of light and shadow on her floral subjects. She identifies her style as contemporary realism, which she defines as painting the impression of shining light into each of her pieces. Nancy admits to being captivated by color; whether it is mixing buttery oils or dealing with the challenges of transparent watercolor, she manages to lure the best and the brightest results from each hue.

Nancy began her adventure into the world in general in Buffalo, New York. She remembers as a young girl; she was extremely shy. She says, "I attended an all-girls high school, and it was during art class I felt the most comfortable." Nancy credits her art teacher Sister Adrienne who submitted her artwork of a black and white linoleum print for a book publication. Amazingly, her artwork was chosen; at that moment, Nancy knew she wanted to be an artist. Nancy entered Buffalo State University to study Fine Arts. It was frustrating the first two years; she was shut out of opportunities to enroll in the painting classes she wanted. Nancy did manage to build a foundation with drawing, printmaking, ceramics, and design classes that were open to her. Upon Completing her second year of college, her mother strongly encouraged her to switch her major to a degree with more job opportunities; therefore, Nancy chose a Design major. However, she soon landed a full-time job with an advertising company. As a result, she quit school to work various shifts.

The move into full-time advertising provided training and promotions with the company for over 13 years. Eventually, Nancy met Gus, her future husband, who worked in marketing at that time for his company. Nancy ended up being the designer for his company's promotional materials, and a few years they married and started a family. A new chapter as a stay-at-home mom was beginning. Nancy realized this was an opportunity for a different kind of education in the world of botany. She discovered a natural talent for landscape design when she began redesigning their home property. During this time, Nancy also began doing faux painting on the walls of her home and other homes of those who admired her work. Nancy's creative business, Blooming Designs, expanded into making silk floral arrangements, in which she supplied gift shops and furniture stores with her floral creations. At one point, she created an ornament for a morning TV show that won her a fully decorated Christmas tree. Nancy's dream of being an artist and a designer had come true.

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."

In 1998 she and her family relocated to Mesa, Arizona. The move required some adjustment; however, it wasn't long before Nancy discovered the open-air art markets that are so popular in the Phoenix, Arizona, metro area. On one trip to an art fair with a friend, she met artist, Jeanne Bonine. Jeanne is well known for her fabulously lush and detailed botanical paintings. As fate would have it, Nancy and Jeanne hit it off, and Nancy began filling in as a studio and art fair assistant for Jeanne. The student-mentor relationship was an introduction to the world of Fine Art in Arizona for Nancy. She worked with Jeanne for 11 years; during that time, Nancy was introduced to AZ Fine Art Expo, where she has worked for nine years during their shows each January through March. Nancy loves this experience of working with a wide variety of artists across various mediums.

Nancy finally had the opportunity to attend a painting class with Jeanne Bonine as the instructor. For the first time, she realized she did have what it took to be a painter of Fine Art. During this time, Nancy's daughter was getting married, and she and her fiance requested Nancy design and paint their wedding invitation.

This was a turning point in Nancy's thought process. She now could see the beginning of her dream to become an artist. Nancy decided to jump in with both feet and joined the Sonoran Arts League (SAL) just before the pandemic closed everything down. Looking at this as an opportunity, Nancy set up her home painting studio and spent almost two years of the isolation period teaching herself to paint. The SAL offered Zoom meetings that helped her with guidance from other artists that propelled her skills forward. Nancy took the words of C.S. Lewis to heart, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." It was just her motivation to learn how to create a website and start a social media presence. By the time the world emerged from behind masks and walls, artist Nancy Palmisano's work was there to greet them. Nancy's work is displayed at On the Edge Gallery on Main Street in Scottsdale, Arizona. She also exhibits with SAL throughout the year. Her magnificent garden paintings now bring light and joy to the walls of the homes and offices of her patrons and collectors.


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