Artist Nanci Stoeffler Overcomes Road-Blocks to Find Creative Voice.
I have always been creative. I’ve always enjoyed experimenting and trying new things creatively. Drawing, acting, dancing, singing, writing, musical instruments….most everything I’ve tried, I’ve enjoyed (on some level) so I kept trying new things.
One day in 2011 while I was exploring some mixed media projects, a picture of a yellow flower fell into my head and I was compelled to paint it. It was at that moment I realized I hated painting!! I thought to myself, “What is this? Why in the world did I hate painting and why didn’t I realize this until now?!?” This compulsion to paint this pale yellow flower lead me down a path of self-discovery as I examined the road-blocks, practical and personal, that prevented me from exploring the world of creative expression through painting.
In a nut-shell here are the road blocks that I discovered and removed:
- I found paint brushes to be prohibitive (for many reasons) so I discovered the freedom in wielding a palette knife instead. This was a simple change which possessed a lot of power. Finding the right tool is imperative for any artist.
- I realized mixing paint (to get the exact shade) was discouraging and frustrating. I have never successfully mixed fine art paint so I gave up and avoided paints altogether. But I finally discovered craft paint comes in a rainbow of colors, particularly in extremely wide varieties of color shades. I still use fine art paints (which are amazing) but I also use any and all other kinds of paints: craft paint, outdoor paint, airbrush paint, glass paint…if I like the shade or want to experiment with it, I use it! As you can see by my paintings, variety of color and color shades is absolutely essential in my creative expression.
- I was afraid to experiment with painting because I was afraid to waste the money and resources. And the only way you can learn is to experiment which includes a lot (A LOT!) of trial and error (i.e. failure). Not only did I learned to embrace and celebrate my “failures” but I also discovered the realization that if I don’t like what I painted, I can just paint over it until I do like it. Which meant I didn’t have to be careful, I could experiment and explore on 1 canvas until it was finished.
- I’ve learned that I am more interested in the exploration and expression of the unseen worlds than in the seen world. Painting the likeness of people, landscapes or animals was not fulfilling for me. However, painting the landscapes of the hidden worlds of the soul and spirit comes naturally to me.
- I’m predominately wired to be led by sensing, intuition and perception rather than eye-sight or a known, finished product. So when I create, it’s more enjoyable and natural for me to be free-flowing and random. When I first began to discover these painting techniques, I literally would randomly choose paints, randomly drizzle them on the canvas and just “play” and see what happened. This kind of creative process is exquisitely decadent and gloriously freeing which nourishes and fulfills me personally, spiritually and creatively in indescribable ways.
So, once I removed all of these road-blocks, I realized I had been digging for creative oil all of my life and finally found a gusher! So, after about 6-9 months of “playing in paint” for 10-30 hours a week, I was accepted into my first Gallery Show. And it has been a fun, wild, life-changing, life-affirming and exhilarating ride ever since!
The Singing Cosmos
Stirred Anointing, Shared Blessing
Drawn to Eternity
The Celebration of You
You can also see images of my artwork, a full artist bio and art exhibit history by visiting my website:
I also have a studio facebook page: