Subscribe To the newsletter

Nancy Lorenz


The paintings begin with the faintest watercolor drawing, which I paint freely and in a few seconds on the panel. I am focused on the marks the brush and water are making on the meticulously prepared white gessoed surface.

What follows the spontaneous drawing is a slow and meditative process. Water and rocks also figure into the actual materials I use in gilding process. I trace each watercolor mark onto thin sheets of mother of pearl, which is then cut by hand. Eventually the surface surrounding the pearl is prepared with many coats of gilder’s clay, built up like the earth around rivers, and polished smooth. The silver leaf, in gossamer thin sheets, is finally applied, with water. The silver is burnished by hand with a small polished piece of agate, making it highly reflective, almost mirror-like. I continue to seek the right balance between preserving the original spontaneous quality of the drawing, and reverence for fine craft in my work.