Nan Sidler remembers a ‘charmed childhood‘, as she calls it. A simpler time when she could play outside all day, “exploring local woodlands for snakes or chipmunk holes, or wading wetlands looking for frogs.“ These were the days when you were free to explore all day, as long as you were home for supper. Growing up, she has an appreciation for her time living near the beautiful water and wild spaces of Ontario, reflecting fondly on Picton and the white sandy beach at the Sandbanks and living near the Ottawa River in Pembroke. She has always used her gift in drawing and painting as a way to engage with the world around her, a gift she says she shared with her grandfather, who worked beautifully in pen and ink.
Her post secondary education took her to Peterborough where she met her husband at Trent University. They shared a love for the area with its rocks, trees and shining waters and decided to stay there to raise their two sons. The family became avid campers, hikers and canoeists, scenes that are captured in many of her paintings and sketches over the years. Her love and respect for nature is an integral part of who she is and how she approaches her art.
Over the years, she has worked with many different mediums including the heavy materials like pastels and oils, but prefers the lighter graphite and watercolour paint. She describes the versatility and portability, ideal for slipping into a backpack and heading out to work plein air. Her carefree days in childhood serve her well as an artist who enjoys working on location in some of the 'world’s most exquisite natural spaces.'
Working out of a wonderful art studio in the attic of their century home, Nan has devoted this space to her art. She describes the natural light of the three north facing windows where she sets up to paint on sunny days, and west and south facing skylights where you will find her working on those overcast ones. She has developed her skills over the years studying under local and international artists and is involved with the Kawartha Artists Gallery and Studio,' a cooperative group which gives tremendous support and resource material to Peterborough artists.
|Icy Creek, Jackson Park|
There are moments in our lives when we are truly present and experience the awe of our world. These moments come and go quickly, but the peace they bring can stay with us for a lifetime. The true beauty and gift of Nan is her ability to capture these moments and share the emotion in that splendour with the viewer. Her dedication to her art has its rewards, the work of Nan is much celebrated, and although she describes the privilege she experiences working in this beautiful province we call home, we, too are privileged to experience the awe in her artwork.
Please visit the webpage to view more of the works by Nan Sidler. This artist was featured on the cover of The Link magazine Winter Issue 2014.