Nancy's Provenance

When my parents toured Hearst Castle when I was five years old, I fell in love with all of the old Master oil paintings, Chinese carpets, and fabulous architecture. I loved the Casitas that were so finely decorated, with marble bathrooms, onyx sinks, and gold leaf. I loved the windows with fabulous views, and I fell in love with all of the landscaping; it was decadent. Then there was both the indoor pool and outdoor pool with blue tiles and again, gold leaf – out of this world beautiful! I thought “When I grow up, I’m going to have oil paintings this beautiful, and Chinese carpets on the floors lying on top of either granite or marble; along with marble and granite bathrooms and fancy sinks. My back yard will be landscaped with beautiful trees, shrubs, and colorful flowers. My home will be decorated with the best furniture”. I was so impressed with all of the beauty that I was surrounded by at Hearst Castle, that I wanted to grow up and surround myself with beautiful Old Master type paintings and beautiful everything else, too.

Nancy's Method


My expressive component comes from my love of all of the beauty that Earth has to offer. There is such beauty and grandeur on Earth. You just have to open your eyes and look, and there it is.


I love all of the different colors of flowers and the way they gracefully sway in the wind. They seem to whisper words of love and kindness. Flowers can be fanciful, whimsical, sturdy, and graceful.


First you need good composition, and then you need the perfect colors to achieve a sensational fresh looking flower. When I start a painting, I play with colors trying to find the perfect colors that I paint the flower with. I will spend time mixing together colors in order to find just the perfect Mother color for the painting. Even the shadow color has to be mixed and perfect. Great care and time go into choosing the perfect colors to represent the flower


I have traveled extensively and have visited churches and museums everywhere I go. I study the artists’ paintings and murals. I look at their technique, and their various backgrounds. I study if they have hard or soft edges, and if their paintings are flat or if they advance and recede, creating a three dimensional painting.


Peter Paul Rubens used values to advance and recede and had fabulous soft edges. Tiziano used dark transparent colors in the background so that the background would recede and stay behind the center of interest. Rembrandt used lighting to focus on the center of attention and darkened the lighting surrounding the center of attention. This pulled your eye into the center of interest.


I love Rembrandts’ use of lighting to focus on the center of attention in his paintings. I love the dark transparent backgrounds in Tiziano’s paintings where the background disappears into the distance. Pietro Lorenzetti is the master of using gold leaf. And Peter Paul Rubens has incredibly soft edges and is also a master of advancing and receding; he has great perspective. I have used each of their techniques in my paintings, and I’m continuing to experiment with new and different methods, and we’ll see what I come up with.


My favorite things to paint are flowers. They are so delicate and have such a sweet aroma. When I finish painting a flower, I hope to capture its essence so you can almost smell it.  I love all of the different colors of flowers and the way they gracefully sway in the wind. They seem to whisper words of love and kindness.

Paintings By Nancy Balmert