Nanette Reynolds Beachner’s journey started in New York City. At the age of two months, she began traveling the world as a Foreign Service Brat, living in the West Indies, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Growing up among diverse cultures, she developed a deep appreciation for both the differences and similarities found around the world. Recognizing these universal values and storylines would have an indelible effect on her and drew Nanette into the art world. During her teenage years, Nanette became involved in theater both backstage and onstage. The skillsets developed during this time would lead to a professional career in theater, film, television, and museum exhibition. By-passing college altogether, Nanette learned as she worked; trying new materials and tools, researching historical styles, and hunting for the right “prop” to tell the tale.
These experiences allowed the self-taught artist she was to become to emerge. Nanette’s own art often begins with something found, allowing happened-upon imagery or objects to inspire an exploration of the unexpected. Though Nanette’s art appears fantastical, the surreal imagery depicts universal stories we all share; searching for self, love, one’s place in the world, or issues of the day that are important to her. The unexpected is Nanette’s call to create, and her invitation to viewers to take a journey.
It begins with something found. Something happened upon by chance, which compels me to begin a journey. A page in a magazine, a map, a bottle cap. Always that thought, “What can I make with this image? From this thing?” Allowing happened-upon imagery or objects to inspire an exploration of the unexpected- fuels my approach to art.
Most of my work starts as collage and remain paper collages. Others, I manipulate the surface by applying layers of acrylics in washes and glazes, sometimes wiping areas away and scraping into the surface. Often the finished piece appears to be more a painting than a collage. And other times I abandon the two-dimensional surface altogether, using it as a jumping-off point to explore sculpture.
Throughout my process, I draw on historical and nature imagery to engage the viewer in a shared tactile experience of the world around us. Though my work appears fantastical, the surreal imagery depicts universal stories we all share, as well as issues that concern me and that I want to bring attention to. I invite viewers to take a journey, explore the unexpected and make a discovery.