Nancy Nankin, former runway model and performer in the San Francisco Opera Chorus, has pursued the arts her entire life. Now an exhibited painter, this San Francisco area-based artist travels the world in search of her subjects.

Orinda, CA(RUSHPRNEWS) JULY 31,2008— How many people before the age of 40 can claim to have performed professionally in opera, modeled on fashion runways and joined the rarefied ranks of vineyard owners? Then in the 2nd half of her life experienced the devastation of a fire claiming her home, but from that experience emerged as a much-praised and admired artist.

Nancy Nankin, interviewed in her art-filled Orinda home outside San Francisco, remembers the childhood influence of her father, Montana-bred scion of copper mines and prominent Bay Area businessman. “My father had an artistic streak, painting the animals and Indians of his boyhood experience. He once brought one of his paintings to a business meeting at Gumps (the City’s landmark art and home accessories emporium), which immediately purchased the work.”

“I always loved music,” she enthuses. “And singing with the Opera Chorus as a young girl was my opening to the world of the arts. I really fell into modeling by accident and somewhat reluctantly, but I learned so much from the experience. It was a chance to grow outward.” Grow outward she did: marrying, traveling extensively, living among the vineyards of Napa. Tragically, she later lost her home and the artifacts of this early life in the devastating Oakland fire of 1991.

But serendipity has always played an important part in her life. After this she met and married Sheldon Nankin, East Bay financial consultant. And after having been a spectator of the arts in her middle years, Nancy became a participant once again. “A friend mentioned to me that Tom Anderson, a highly respected artist and art teacher, gave private classes to select students. On a hunch I contacted him. I emerged from my first session with a finished painting. It was a mountain landscape that looked more like a cupcake than anything else, but still- a painting!”

Nancy pursued lessons until her teacher finally dismissed her, having taught her everything he knew. He felt she should now work on her own, offering her a certificate to teach others. From then, nothing has stopped this productive, consummate artist. “Sheldon and I travel all over the world,” Nancy declares with affection. “I’m constantly looking for my next painting subjects.”

Nancy’s gracious, thoughtful paintings portray subjects as diverse as a small village street in China, a light-flooded domed church along the coast of Greece, a flower-filled harbor town on the Riviera coast, figures celebrating at seaside, or imaginary subjects inspired by the stunning wares in the window of a jewelry shop in London. Her works have drawn an ever-widening spectrum of admirers.

William Torphy, who represents her art to the public and recently featured an exhibition at 255 California in San Francisco’s financial district, states: “The show was a great popular success. Stockbrokers, CEO’s, office workers, diners at nearby star-studded Aqua restaurant-all responded with outstanding curiosity and interest. Nancy’s paintings have heart and soul. They speak to people.”

Nankin’s enthusiasm for painting is infectious. “When I paint, I’m saying ‘Welcome to my world! To the wonder beyond.’ I’m exploring my emotional response to and the pleasure I receive from the world I see. I hope my viewers experience the same.”

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