Nancy Ortenstone's paintings are inspired by the New Mexico landscape, especially the light, the ever-changing colors of the mountains and mesas, the wide-open skies, and the embracing silence. Rather than reproduce a landscape, Ortenstone takes what she sees into her own psyche and creates many layers of underpainting on each canvas, until the final image emerges.
"When I can dance with the colors and trust that each painting is the path to the next, my paintings undergo a transformative process. Acrylics are especially suited to my technique because of the speed with which images can emerge, be washed away and rapidly be brought forth again with new resonance," Ortenstone states. Her objective is to unite music, dance and color, creating her own melodies on canvas. The artists who have inspired her are Rothko, Frankenthaler and Oliveira.
Ortenstone has lived in Minnesota (her birthplace), Mexico and New Mexico. She holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. from the University of Mexico through the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Ortenstone's paintings are exhibited in several galleries across the country, and are also included in many private and corporate collections.