Artist Biography


Nancy Bailey was born in 1913. After working from the age of 15, she developed a keen interest in photography, using a home- made camera to capture images of West-Country views, many of which went on to be made into postcards. Her knowledge of light and composition enabled her to create the striking effects which make her art so successful. After moving frequently throughout the South West, Nancy moved to Ireland, where for almost 13 years she produced very high quality marquetry pictures, which were sent all over the world.
Her career in painting began only when she was 50, continuing until her 90th birthday (2004) when she told us at the Lander Gallery that she would be taking a gap year!
Nancy never used a brush, instead employing a palette knife to apply her paint. She liked to paint on canvas, which offered the 'give' needed when using the knife. She explained this technique in her popular television series.
Nancy's work has many distinctive features, most obviously the rough painterly surface, allowing true to life depictions of the Cornish landscape.

Throughout her career she went on travels, including a safari trip to South Africa led by the much acclaimed nature artist David Shepherd. Her catalogue includes continental views and equestrian scenes- many of which were painted whilst in Ireland. She also embarked on a series of paintings of the Isles of Scilly, which were sold on the Islands- she clearly remembered taking 5 or 6 works down to the Scillonian at a time.
The majority of her paintings show scenes in Cornwall. Beaches, cliffs, fields, moorland and valleys, rivers and creeks are all bathed in light and colour.
At her death in 2012 the Lander Gallery mounted a small exhibition of her work as a tribute.

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