Artist Interview: Nancy Jacey

Posted by Jenni Kirby - November 24 2020

Go Big, Go with Color”


For artist and realist Nancy Jacey, it’s all about light, color, and detail.


Jacey, who moved back to Richmond in 2009, recalls being told to tone down her colors to appeal to the market. Jacey rebutted, “I like to work large scale and make a statement with bold vivid colors, which matches my personality.” Mainly influenced by nature, and masters such as Salvador Dali, Jacey’s interest in bright colors was sparked while living in the vibrant tropics of Florida.


The creative process for Jacey begins with photographs and preliminary sketches. “I go to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens regularly to photograph and sketch the gardens and exhibits, then fill in details with many layers.” Typically taking around 4 months to complete, Jacey’s works range from acrylic and oil to Prismacolor pencils. Jacey hyper-focuses in on pieces such as “A Moment to Celebrate”, recently part of large-scale botanical series inspired by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Though nature remains Jacey’s primary influence, she has begun to experiment with new subject matter. A more recent piece, “Guardian Angel”, was based on the stained-glass piece called Guardian Angel at Hollywood Cemetery.


When not out in nature, Jacey manages her time working on commissions and teaching private lessons. As an active member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and UK Coloured Pencil Society, Jacey spends a lot of time prepping for competitions. “The competitions have become a big part of my work and I am currently working on a detailed portrait to submit.”


Though Jacey’s subject matter remains the same, she notes a progression over time through added layers, more details, and increased realism. “Now my work takes even more time - I am focused on being as realistic as possible.”


Still unafraid to make a bold statement, Jacey says to “go big, go with color. You want your audience to feel what you’re feeling and appreciate it - what means the most to you will reflect in your artwork.”