Friday, December 12, 2008

A hard head in a hard hat!

So it seems that I am now an industrial landscape painter! This was taken at Industrial Steel Construction in Gary Indiana where I go and set up my easel and paint in the corners of the buildings while bridges are being built. What a life I have!
And I have a Facebook page - what fun that is. People have told me that Face Book is addictive and I'm beginning to think it is.
Stay warm and be cool --- my motto for the week.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time Marches On Relentlessly

Egads! Did you see "fall" go by? With a WHOOSH! Talk about life on fast-forward, I have had to schedule SCHEDULE MIND YOU time to finish a book club book! Can't quite figure out how to paint 5-6 hours a day, shop for food, frame, market, deliver, pick-up, hit the galleries, see a movie, get my nails done, organize an exhibit, spend time with my family, sleep in, get up early, drive a golf cart around an industrial steel plant to take pictures, call a friend, maintain my websites, take a walk, and do it all in 24 hours a day. I'm tryin' here, but it doesn't leave much time to blog. So - here are a couple of paintings I have managed to do "en plein air" in the past weeks.
The Plein Air Painters of Chicago (me included) spent a few weeks in the Edgewater community of Chicago, painting in the streets and alleys. The painting on the left is the alley behind the Gethsemane Garden Center on N. Clark, and on the right is a courtyard on Ashland and Balmoral, across the street from the Edgewater Historical Society where we had an exhibit of these works. I also had a great reunion with Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik in Lake Forest, where Richard and Nancy donated their time and talents to support The Visiting Artists Group, which sends artists into schools to foster arts education for children. We have been friends for 20 years and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.
And now, I'm helping organize "Four Seasons of Old Town", the result of 12 months of painting in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood of Chicago by the Plein Air Painters of Chicago (PAPC). It opens Sunday Nov. 9 from 2-4 PM at the Old Town Art Center, 1763 N. North Park, Chicago 60614, and will close Sunday Nov. 30 with a reception from 1-3 PM.
And with that, I am off.
Talk to you soon.
P. S. I am in the NEW AMERICAN PAINTINGS book #77 Midwest, with four pages of my paintings and bio. Check it out. Published by Open Studios Press.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Stuff I have learned on my Summer Vacation

Painting in the mountains of Colorado is a huge challenge for this city artist. I painted en plein air in RMNP in June, before attending the opening of "Far and Near Horizons", a touring exhibit sponsored by International Plein Air Painters (IPAP) and Landscape Artists International (LAI). The Cultural Art Center Gallery of Estes Park Colorado hosted the exhibit and it was fun to meet my fellow artists from all over the US and Canada. The sounds are different (water rushing over rocks vis a vis elevated trains screaming overhead) --- and there are HILLS instead of flats --- and I had a peaceful retreat from this busy city.

Back to Chicago where I finished up this commissioned work: Picasso Under Construction circa 1967. This huge piece of public art was pointed-up (from a maquette by Picasso) at American Bridge in Gary Indiana, and this image of the work-in-progress came from a photo of that operation.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Chicago - home of year-round outdoor painting - eek!

Winter, spring, summer, fall - young and old - the folks are on the prowl. We did the Lincoln Park Conservatory a couple of weeks ago and all of us except one painter decided to stand in the snow outside and paint, rather than inside where everything was green (and our glasses fogged up when we went inside to thaw.)

We do manage to find places out of the wind - so last week we went inside Union Station (but somehow I ended up on the end of the platform OUTSIDE painting a train as it was coming into the station. Some people never learn!)

Pictures from these two adventures will be posted as soon as I get them onto the computer.

Check out this link:

Mark your c alendars for April 4-15 for the PAPC show at the Palette & Chisel Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, 1012 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago 60610. Email me for particulars:

More soon.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Plein Air painting in Chicago in Winter

If it is over 20 degrees, and the wind is under 20

miles per hour I get out most Saturdays to paint

with the Plein Air Painters of Chicago for 3-4

hours. People stop and ask "are you a class?"

My usual response is "no, we're just crazy!"

I am participating in the following traveling show:
IPAP/LAI World Tour
LAI charter members and IPAP signature members Exhibition Schedule:
This tour offers an exceptional opportunity to view works by artists around the world. The schedule grows weekly so please bookmark and check back frequently to see what cities have been added.
2008 - 2009 Tour
April 21 - May 21, 2008
The Link Gallery
Associated with Peninsula Art School
Fish Creek, Wisconsin (Door County)
Host Artists: Aaron Holland
June 1 - July 6, 2008
The Cultural Arts Council of
Estes Park Art Fine Art Gallery
Estes Park, Colorado
Host Artists: Kathryn McMahon & Doug Martin
July 21 - August 18, 2008
Old School House Art Center
Qualicum Beach, Vancouver
British Columbia, Canada
Artist Host: Dan Gray
Opening September 18, 2008 - January 4, 2009
Terrace Gallery
Orlando, Florida
Host Artists: Brenda Hofreiter & Barbara Perrotti

You might also check out my work at and
Its been a great year.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Lotton Gallery on Michigan Avenue

You can see this painting, and several other Chicago images, in person at the Lotton Gallery, 900 N. Michigan 6th Level, Chicago 60611. They are carrying my work. Open 7 days a week.

This Skyline image was painted en plein air between 5:30 and 7 am for two consecutive mornings in July.

I continue to have a wonderful time painting with the folks every Saturday morning. You can find out where we are painting by going to the blogspot every Thursday, where the Saturday location is posted. These talented painters have influenced and informed my work, and I love the critiques we do after 3-4 hours of painting.

There will be a group show and sale of the PAPC painters opening 5-8 PM on Friday July 27 at the Palette & Chisel Gallery, 1012 N. Dearborn, Chicago 60610. The show will be open daily and run for two weeks. Call me at 312-206-5648 if you want to make an appointment to see the show with me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


A solo show of my urban landscapes is in the gallery of the University Club of Chicago, 76 E. Monroe, until Feb. 3, 2007. Most of the work can be seen on my website, and click on cityscapes. Chicago writer Robert Kamczura has this to say about the paintings:
"Nancy Albrecht’s recent paintings represent something of the duality of Chicago’s personality. On the one hand the city is earthy, seemingly rough, massive and jumbled, on the other side Albrecht sees the city representing the acting out of the cycle of life, the eternal pattern of birth, death and rebirth.

Her paintings show a Chicago that is made out of tough steel and stone, in neighborhoods which include heavy buildings, El platforms, streets and alleys, with a particular emphasis on things which are being torn down for reconstruction. She takes a certain delight in the bizarre shapes and counterpoints of urban structures. Her Chicago views are all painted in a raw painterly style, done almost exclusively with palette knives, laid on in thick textured layers with small touches of lyrical bright color to enliven the scene.

Beyond this rough but attractive surface Albrecht’s work often carries a strong symbolic theme. This theme is hinted at by one of her most prominent subjects, a large trash recycling building that features in several of her paintings, sitting like a kind of latter day Pantheon temple surrounded by worshipping earth-moving machines. This points towards her view of the city as a living entity that reinvents itself in a cycle of destruction and rebirth, further enforced by the way her half wrecked buildings seem to loom like Roman Ruins, hinting at their power and strength even as they are destroyed. Her use of touches of bright color add a sense of gaity and rough lyricism that suggest the 18th Century Rome of Piranesi as much as contemporary Chicago, further emphasizing the theme of rebirth; the old world reinvented in the new.
Albrecht’s Chicago paintings, with their strong geometry, bold paint surfaces, lyric details, and optimistic strength, seem very much in line with Carl Sandburg’s mythical image of Chicago as “…cunning as a savage, pitted against the wilderness, bareheaded, shoveling, wrecking, planning, building, breaking, rebuilding.”
Robert Kameczura
Arts Writer and Critic
Big Shoulders’ Magazine, Chicago Artists’ News, and etc
January 10, 2007"