Sunday, March 12, 2017

Nancy Swan Drew

Nancy Swan Drew: prolific artist, syndicated cartoonist, surface designer, clothes designer/creator, cancer survivor, author, radio host, humanitarian, wife, mother of three, grandmother

Nancy Swan Drew (left) in front of her contributions to a fundraiser 

I was fortunate enough to learn about Nancy Swan Drew at an early age and introduced to her wildly inspiring world.

Nancy Swan Drew was the first living woman artist I learned about when I was growing up.  My mother knew of Drew's work and brought some of Drew's inspirational, fun, colorful images into our home.

Drew's work introduced me to the concept that art could be bright and whimsical and demonstrated using text in paintings.  But it was her example of the idea of art is life and life is art that affected me the most.  I love reading descriptions about her home and family life.  Nancy Swan Drew created, painted and embellished her everyday world as this description depicts:
"The door is not the only part of the house to show Drew`s creative touch. Walls, wallpaper, window frames, sofas, chairs, tables, lampshades, even the vacuum cleaner have not escaped Drew`s artistic imprint.Elongated, cartoonlike figures float on the handrail along the stairway. A sofa, resplendent with splattered paint upholstery, crouches in the living room. Life-size cutouts lurk in the corners. Bumper stickers from the Grand Hotel and other such places paper a bathroom.The result is an interior that looks as if it has been assaulted by a manic 5-year old. It is high-voltage pattern-on-pattern, completely at odds with the ``Leave It to Beaver`` exterior of this houseperched in bucolic splendor on a hill outside Niles, Mich., 90 miles from Chicago."
The Mystery Of Nancy Drew, Every Surface A Canvas-and What A Canvas-for An Enterprising, Unfettered Artist  October 20, 1991 By Sharon Stangenes.

I believe my exposure to Nancy Swan Drew influenced me greatly.  Drew did EVERYTHING - greeting cards, painted found objects and furniture, embellished clothing.  I was enchanted by her loose, folk art like style.

Drew is still producing as you can see by her Facebook page, click here to visit her FB page :)
Below are some descriptions from different articles giving these a glimpse into the wonderful and whimsical world of Nancy Swan Drew.  Click on the quote to go to the full article.

When it comes to her artwork Drew considers her style expressionistic. She works with oils, ink, pastels, collages, and more. She describes her work as thought observations. She attributes her love of art to her grandmother.“I fell in love with the creative process when I was very young. My grandmother was a kindergarten teacher and she had a room full of art supplies that I had free range to. That is one of my favorite memories. 
Nancy Swan Drew: The case of the inspiring artist Aug 5, 2004 CINDY SHAFER
interior shot of inspire me, a boutique that feature Nancy Drew

Here is a description of Nancy Swan Drew's customized clothing: 
Each of her customized pieces features one of these ``socially significant`` statements. However, the graphic is probably the last thing you will notice when you encounter a Drew blazer or vest.

That`s because these loud, colorful reworked Salvation Army specials are covered with tons of other stuff, too: bows and ribbons and swatches of material and baby toys and cheap jewelry and rubber frogs and bicycle reflectors and pink foam hair rollers. Their pockets are filled with more stuff: a row of ceramic nuns, a handful of bow ties, a set of big plastic lips. And then there`s the attached pockets on the front of the jacket, made of netting, which are filled with even more stuff: candy and gum and toy whistles and tops and-well, you get the idea. Clothes Can Speak Louder Than WordsAugust 24, 1988|, Marla Donato.

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