June 2022 Issue
About the Cover Artist — Nancy Quiaoit
By Kelly Hunter
Growing up in the California foothills, Nancy Quiaoit was a natural artist. “Since I was a very young girl I’ve always expressed myself through painting and drawing,” she told us. Although she briefly pursued formal training, Nancy now describes herself as a self-taught artist. “I made this decision when I took a college art class. I didn’t enjoy the class or the restrictions it placed on my creative ideas.” The freedom expressed in her work is evidence that she made the right choice.
This month’s cover art is “The Mermaid Dance.” We asked Nancy why she paints so many mermaids, and why this one is “dancing” with dolphins: “I paint a lot of mermaids because I love women, the ocean and fantasy. Our oceans connect all life. The ocean is powerful yet fragile. I think women are like the ocean in many ways, too. They are strong, give life, can be playful and soft while still being a force of nature. I like to capture their playfulness and ability to nurture. I painted “The Mermaid Dance” after watching dolphins when I was visiting Hawaii. They were so playful and beautiful.” We’re glad you took that trip to Hawaii, Nancy!
Like many women artists, Nancy endeavors to maintain work/life balance: “My largest challenge has been balancing time and avoiding tiredness. There is nothing more important than family. I need my children to know they are my priority, and I’m invested in their happiness, education and personal growth. At the same time, I want to grow and nurture my career, which I’m passionate about. I found blending these two things together at times helped, along with making sure some time in every day was solely dedicated to family life,” Nancy explained.
In addition to her family and her time creating art, she also teaches art. We asked Nancy what drives her to teach: “I teach art because I strongly feel art is meant to be shared and enjoyed. It’s a joy to watch my students express themselves while getting excited about their unique creations. I often hear the word ‘can’t’ from my students. It thrills me to see students do what they claimed couldn’t be done and exude pride in their finished artwork. Teaching art helps students in building confidence, developing critical thinking skills and fine motor skills. And when art is paired with core curriculum, it helps with developing a deeper understanding by creating an attachment to it.”
Nancy’s art is playful, with a definite sense of adventure, which makes her a perfect fit for our #AdventureAwaits issue. She told us, “My greatest adventure has been finding my true self. It has been a wonderful journey!” We know you’ll enjoy exploring Nancy’s work. We hope it inspires you to find the adventure in every day!
Nancy’s whimsical and textured work can be seen and purchased at www.NancyQstudio.com. You can also check her out on Etsy (NancyQstudio), Instagram (@nancyqstudio) and Facebook (@ArtistNancyQ).