Nancy Spears Whitcomb



For a long time, I have played with several themes in my work. I like souvenirs and old printed photos, illustrations, and advertisements. The originals might be on a scrap of faded paper or buried in an out-of-copyright discarded book. I like to save them by copying them or painting them, maybe putting them in a new environment. I like the way an old image will stoke the imagination, bringing on a flood of memories or evoking another time. I hope that some of my images cause a viewer to time travel too. I want to tell a story but I don‘t know where it ends.

I’ve also painted many busy pictures. I like the flatness of a two-dimensional representation of a crowd of people or a group of objects, and the motion created on the surface of the picture. Animals are another area of interest.

The encaustic medium is terribly messy and unpredictable. It opens many possibilities using collage, photo transfer, and offbeat materials. I am trying to mix my familiar tendency to work with realistic imagery with a medium that wants to go wild and abstract. I don’t always know where this will take me but I’m enjoying the ride!


Nancy Spears Whitcomb graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and spent a year in the studio art group at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in New York. For many years she worked in graphic design and illustration, as well as teaching art in schools. Her work is shown primarily at the Providence Art Club galleries. She has also had work in group shows at the RISD Museum, Newport Art Museum (member show), Saco Museum, University of New England, Portland campus, Mystic Museum of Art, University of Rhode Island Fine Arts Center gallery, Art League of Rhode Island galleries, Spring Bull Gallery, Newport, RI, Fuller Craft Museum, St. Botolph Club, Boston, New Bedford Art Museum, and the Jamestown Art Center.