Watercolor and Pastel Artists at CHAW

Nancy Arbuthnot

Nancy Arbuthnot

I have long been interested in art and art making, absorbing the masterworks at the National Gallery of Art and other museums since I was a teenager, keeping my hands busy over the years with a changing variety of quilting, woodblock printing, jewelry making, and calligraphy projects while raising children and teaching literature and writing at the United States Naval Academy. I also deeply enjoy reading and writing poetry, and have published several books, two of which combine my two interests: Wild Washington, Animal Sculpture A to Z, which highlights an alphabet of animal sculptures in DC with my descriptions and poems and with photo-illustrations by Cathy Abramson; and Guiding Lights: Monuments and Memorials of the United States Naval Academy, which showcases some 60 monuments with photographs, descriptions, and my own poetic meditations.

Since my retirement several years ago, I have devoted my free time to poetry and watercolor painting. I studied watercolor first with Gina Clapp of the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, who encouraged us both to imitate other artists and to experiment with different styles and techniques. For the past three years, I have worked with Joey Manlapaz, who urges students in her still-life classes to observe closely and draw carefully, attending to shapes and distances between objects and noting the myriad colors within objects and their reflections. Most recently, I have returned to the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, joining the Wednesday Studio group under Ellen Cornett, where I hope to continue experimenting with art and poetry, merging my poems and images in my watercolor “meditations.”

To see some of Nancy’s work, visit her Gallery on this blog.

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