Friday, February 10, 2017

Profiling Artist Nancie King Mertz

I first met Nancie King Mertz about 13 years ago when she entered one of the first Richeson75 competitions and drove up from the Chicago area for the exhibit reception. It's been a lot of fun watching her career grow! Nancie paints (expertly) in pastels and oils, has fully embraced the Plain Air movement and is a popular teacher as well (She is on the faculty for this year's PACE convention in San Diego). If you don't know Nancie yet, I hope this interview will give you some insight and if you do know her, maybe you'll learn something new about her!

ALC: Would you please share how you came to be a professional artist?
NKM: My parents always joked that my first sentence was “I want an easel”.  So I began painting at a young age, studied art seriously in my tiny high school with the help of extension classes from our nearby university, and majored in painting as an undergrad (Uof IL)and then grad school (EIU)following.

"Cristoval Creek" plein air pastel Nancie King Mertz
 ALC: What’s your favorite digital tool?
NKM: I’m so old-school….I have a digital camera that I use occasionally and I post finished work on FB with my Ipad.  Most of my work is plein air and if I work from an image in my studio, it’s a printed photo from my camera.

ALC: What’s your favorite non-digital tool – the one you absolutely can’t live without?
NKM: My plein air gear!

ALC: If you could take any workshop in the next year, with whom would you like to study and what would you look to learn from him/her?
NKM: Richard Schmid.  His brushwork and intuitive placement is beyond what most artists can achieve.  I studied with him when he lived in Chicago, and what an honor it would be to have the opportunity again.

ALC: What does your workspace look like? NKM: I feel like a very lucky lady.  I have a studio off our kitchen for both oil and pastel and then 2 minutes away, we have my gallery and frame shop where much of the “action” happens.  It’s fully-staffed so I can come and go to work on studio pieces at home or leave to plein air paint in the city or away.  I do spend a lot of time there, however, framing and seeing to the business, but our excellent staff keep it running smoothly 7 days a week, which allows me time to paint and teach in various destinations.  My husband produces Giclee prints and cards of my work, providing many different price points for our gallery.

ALC: What is your primary art/design business goal for the next year?
NKM: This past year I painted in 12 states plus Cuba and produced 150 paintings. That is my continuing goal until I just can’t do it anymore!  I meet so many wonderful people and amazing artists through teaching and competing.  And while I love being on the road, I also love being in the gallery and interacting with clients and collectors as they drop by.
 ALC: What do you consider to be your strongest attribute as an artist/designer?
NKM: My willingness to work my butt off. 

ALC: What painting or design project would be your “dream job”  -  what you would consider to be the ultimate sign of success for you personally?
NKM: I’m happy livin’ the dream…..

ALC: What one piece of advice would you give to someone following in your footsteps?
NKM: Work very hard to continue to learn.

ALC: Would you share your favorite technique or technical tip for our readers?
NKM: Drawing is the key to any successful painting.  Learn to draw, draw a lot, do it correctly, and you can paint.

Find Nancie online:

all artwork in this post is ©Nancie King Mertz


  1. She paints like an angel. I especially like Cristoval Creek. I wonder if her plein air pieces are mostly pastel or equal oil and pastel. Thanks for posting

  2. Three, veteran teachers at a public elementary Writing college essay school did a case study which involved teaching through the arts.


Thanks for commenting on Art Lady Confidential! If you wish to contact me privately, please email