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A colorist with a strong sense of design, Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey’s 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 loves color, texture and pattern.

After working predominantly in watercolor, through her pursuit for texture and passion for color, Nancy discovered the spontaneity and brilliance she could create through painting on silk.

Silk painting is a Chinese technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. 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. "I like strength and statement in my work; I can only guide these pintings - the medium itself defies control and I like that. For me, it's the jazz of painting."

"Whatever medium I am working in, I like to mix color on the surface of the painting--giving the work more immediacy and spontaneity--what I call spirited painting. [On silk] I [can] really float brilliant color with spirit and gusto." -Art Life, Fall/Winter 2001-2002

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 moved to Montana 22 years ago and settled near Bigfork on Fox Creek Slough near Flathead Lake where Montana’s 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 Jackson, Cody, Carmel, and Bigfork. Her work is included in invitational art shows across the West, like the Annual C. M. Russell Show and Auction, The Buffalo Bill Art Show and Sale, National Cowgirl Museum "Heart of The West" Invitational, the Cowgirl Up! Show at The Desert Caballeros Museum. She is a Signature Member on the Montana Watercolor Society. Her work is exhibited in many private and corporate collections across the country and in Europe.

A Limited number of her images are available from Nancy directly through Fox Creek Publishing as Giclee Fine Art Reproductions on both canvas and 100% cotton rag paper.  A few images are published as limited edition prints by Toh-Atin Gallery and Publishing. A new book about her work, Sky's the Limit: The Art of Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey is now available.

"My first memories are crawling on richly patterned Persian rugs while living with my family in the Middle East.  As a young woman I started quilting (along with painting), continuing a tradition of my mother and great grandmother.  

Through the years of painting on silk with French and a Italian dyes, I have added patterned borders on many different subjects, and especially on florals and cowgirls.  

I am honored and delighted that women and men across the North American continent are exploring this great tradition of designing and creating quilts using some of the patterns from my work!"  - Nancy Dunlop Cawdrey




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