Nancy Rynes' love for animals and the outdoors began early, as a child on her family’s small farm in rural Illinois. Her Choctaw pony and Chesapeake Bay Retriever were her constant companions. Art, writing, and riding horses were mainstays of her life in the country. As a child, she often wandered the family farm with pencil and sketchbook, drawing anything and everything she could find. Horses, cattle, ducks, goats, and chickens were some of her earliest subjects. This love of drawing led her to study fine art at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where she learned classical techniques of working from life. She later went on to study geology and archaeology at Northern Illinois University and the University of Colorado, Boulder.
In 2002, Nancy began studies under noted artists Ralph Oberg, Dan Young, Matt Smith, and Chris Alvarez. Learning the finer points of landscape painting from these artists greatly influenced her use of bold brushwork, color, light, and shadow in her own paintings. Nancy still paints from life when possible - she believes it's an exercise that keeps her tuned in to the true colors and patterns of light, not simply in how a camera captures it.
After a serious cycling accident that nearly left her paralyzed, Nancy's main artistic focus shifted. The freedom, energy, and movement of both the people and animals of the American west inspired her to paint larger and more energetically. Now, most of her paintings are devoted to these larger, more energetic, western-themed works.
Nancy has been honored with several one-person shows, as well as awards in juried competitions. Her work has been included in shows such as Art of the Animal Kingdom, Arts for the Parks, OPA National, International Exhibition on Animals in Art, Salon International, and many other national and regional juried shows and competitions.
Nancy's work has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine and included in the books 100 Ways to Paint Your Favorite Subjects and The Madaba Plains Project: Forty Years of Research into Jordan's Past.