Montana Artist

Northwest Montana Art

Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey

Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey has taken the ancient art of Chinese silk painting and made it her own, embellished it with her strength, hope and experience, telling her story with each broad brush stroke, each color transition, each border legend. She calls it the "jazz" of painting, when she blends sometimes discordant notes of color and form into an exciting concept that captures the spirit of painting as much as her subject matter. The paintings are alive and they are rendered with liveliness and a practiced knowledge of her medium.

About Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey

Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey is the daughter of a retired career officer, fortunate enough to be exposed to exotic cultures throughout her childhood. In whatever country her father was stationed, Nancy immersed herself in the culture, and her affection for the arts later led her to study two years in Paris and another five years in Britain.

Nancy loves color, texture and pattern. She began her painting career 35 years ago and worked predominately in watercolor. Through her pursuit for texture and passion for color, Nancy discovered the spontaneity and brilliance she could create through painting on silk, a Chinese technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. And, although silk painting is now her medium of choice, she continues to explore a variety of subjects in watercolor, pastel, oil and experimental media. Often, we see a mixture of media in her silk compositions. Through this overlaying of various media she creates buoyant color and texture with her combination of transparent pigment and the shimmer of silk.
A colorist with a strong sense of design, Nancys work always evokes a response, whether she is creating one of her signature western figure pieces, a breathtaking landscape, a quiet corner of Venice, or a vibrant floral. Nancy moved to Montana 22 years ago and settled near Bigfork on Fox Creek Slough near Flathead Lake where Montanas expansiveness serves as the primary inspiration for her work. She also enjoys traveling to the Southwest
and abroad to paint on-site plein air studies.
Represented in galleries in Santa Fe, Tucson, Bozeman, and Bigfork, her work is included in invitational art shows across the West. She is a 2003 Featured Artist for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and was recently voted "Artists Choice " by her peers at the Treasure State Invitational Art Show. Nancy participates in the annual C.M. Russell show and Auction in Great Falls, Montana each March, and is a Signature Member of the Montana Watercolor Society. Her work is exhibited in many private and corporate collections across the country and in Europe. A number of her images are available as Fine Art Reproductions. Her Giclee prints on both canvas and 100% cotton rag paper are available in small limited editions of 50 to 100. Several of her images are now being offered on greeting cards through Leaning Tree Card Company.

Nancy Cawdrey's portraits and landscapes are sensual and bold, uplifting, and distinctly contemporary in their flair. They reflect the expansive vision of an artist who now lives in Bigfork, Montana, and draws upon the rich cultures of France, England and the Middle East where she traveled and lived for many years with her parents.
An internationalist at heart, Cawdrey uses German brushes to stroke French dyes across Chinese silk. She gives the refined tradition of silk painting a more rambunctious edge, and she delights in perpetuating the symbolic power of the myth; cowboys and cowgirls, creatures from the forest and grand vistas form a mythology of the American West, she says, "that is larger than life". Nancy Cawdrey was born in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1948. She studied art at the American University in Paris, and received studio instruction
from French painters at the Sorbonne.