About Carmen Lee Nance Gambrill
“Painting was something that I started rather late in life but it seems I have been working toward it for many years. As a gallery owner and frame designer for almost 40 years, my sense of color and design was honed by the time I picked up a paintbrush a little over 8 years ago. I paint intuitively and abstractly and adore creating something that is totally original – something that nobody else could have possibly done. Sometimes I start by choosing colors or make a decision to break up the canvas in a certain pattern, but almost certainly the painting finds its own direction before it is complete. I love acrylics because of their versatility and because they dry quickly, which allows me to add layers, skins, textures, and sometimes collage and then scrape or sgraffito into the under layers for detail. That being said, I go through phases when oil paints are my preference….usually applied over a painting that was begun in acrylic. And, most recently, I have dived into cold wax and oil medium. That REALLY allows for layering, excavating, and creating exciting textures in a painting. Whatever the medium, I think that color and energy dominate my art and are the recognizable link between my very diverse paintings.”
Carmen grew up in North Carolina, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and later received a graduate degree from Boston University. None of these degrees were in art! She studied painting at the Art League School in Alexandria, Virginia and in other workshops from Sicily to Santa Fe to Solomons Island, where her eponymous gallery brings quality art instruction to Solomons thorough gallery workshops, which she hosts. Carmen’s gallery also organized the annual Solomons Plein Air Festival, which raised money for charitable organizations. In 2013, Carmen organized a cultural art exchange trip to Cuba where artists and art lovers painted, visited the studios and homes of Cuban artists and learned about the architecture of the island and the Cuban culture. Imagine the possibilities now!
Formerly a gallery owner in New Orleans, Carmen still maintains a house and painting studio on Royal Street in the Marigny and uses any excuse she can find to head to NOLA! When not at her home in New Orleans, she resides in Solomons Island, Maryland or at her beach house in Wrightsville Beach with her many rescue critters – mostly cats – and her husband, Matt.