Nancy Daubenspeck lives in a solitary valley by a river; nature is ever-present for the artist, permeating her life and work. Byzantine iconography, renaissance fresco, poetry, and calligraphy are also inspirations for the artist’s spellbinding paintings. Daubenspeck works with numerous, extremely thin veils of color and brushstrokes in the Venetian style. Her paint is hand mixed dry pigment in casein (the main protein found in milk) emulsion brushed on muslin stretched over wooden panel. The paintings are meditative and intimate. The painted surface is dry and luminous and rich in physicality, very much like fresco. Her work is about paint and light, how illumination defines and harnesses color, pattern, and form. Daubenspeck’s process is a continual rebalancing of the vibrant glazed layers and marks, the opaque veil, and the geometric composition of the calligraphic brushwork. It is these juxtapositions that are the most provocative aspect of the work.
Daubenspeck’s formal education is in chemistry, mathematics, and computer science. She has done research in inorganic chemistry, physics and seismology. She has training in iconography and lacemaking and began painting in earnest in 2006 after an introduction to casein and panel painting at Parsons School of Design, New York, NY.