Nancy Brandsma

Solo Show / Exposition solo

New Horizons | Nouveaux horizons
Vernissage: March 6, 2020 / 6 mars 2020


Nancy BRANDSMA was born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1975. Since 2003, Nancy has received professional training in a variety of media through the Ottawa School of Art. She has dedicated herself to oil painting after resigning from her administrative position in 2009 to pursue her passion for the visual arts. As an active member of BRAVO (Bureau des Regroupements des Artistes Visuels de l’Ontario) she has participated in various art projects across Ontario including organizing BRAVO-EST participation in Ottawa’s first ever Nuit Blanche with the exhibit “Frenchkiss(er)” in 2012. She currently paints weekly at Alpha Gallery on Tuesdays as well as in her home studio. She has shown her work in several galleries and festivals across Ontario.


The incessantly moving paint strokes are directly from my subconscious mind while the colour is guided by informed choice and intent. I am fascinated by raw human emotions and experience. Every scratch mark around us has a story, although unknown these untold stories fascinate and generate discussion and reflection. It is only when you dig deep into the matter that discoveries are made and the mystery is revealed. I invite the spectator to surrender to the rich landscape and let the game begin.


It starts the moment I dip my humble fork in the pie of paint. My subconscious takes over my body and is completely engrossed in the process, tuning out everything  until the canvas is covered in mad strokes and scratches and my gut says it’s done. I sometimes sit in front of the finished product observing and listening to see if any else needs to be said in reply. Each painting is done in one day, while the mood and message is present and unique to that moment.

My works have often been compared to Van Gogh for its bold colours and its dramatic whirling textures. To me texture and colour tonality is key, its like a decadent dish that is both pleasing to the eye for its color and texture but also to the senses for its taste and aroma. All must work together to excite the senses. Often the most novel marriage of two simple ingredients can create quite the punch to the senses. My goal is to achieve such a feat.


My main medium is oil paint for its colour richness and slow drying time. I have often been told that I should switch to acrylic to simplify my impasto technique, but I am stubborn and determined to continue with oil as did the old masters. I am never afraid of a challenge. My tools are simple as in spatulas and the very humble fork. Over the years, I have experimented with various support and additional medium to supplement the rich texture reminiscent of icing on a cake. I have settled for oil mixed with wax on gallery wood panel. What matters most to me is the dominance of the texture to reflect the seduction of the colour to reveal the as of yet untold story.



Centretown News
Francophone artists unite at SAW Gallery: pentadécagone

le Droit
Jumelages vidéo : pentadécagone (article in French only)

Ottawa Citizen
Art of the Start seminar: People doing what they are passionate about