Nancy Hilliard Joyce, Fine Artist

Water and Wine, oil & acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 in. by Nancy Hilliard Joyce
Water and Wine, oil & acrylic on canvas, 24 x 24 in. by Nancy Hilliard Joyce

Nostalgic, mysterious and iconic figures riding bikes or holding umbrellas act as muses for most of Nancy Joyce’s paintings.

The rain isn’t threatening or uninviting but rather alluring and symbolic. “My paintings with rain and the images of the umbrella are more than meets the eye,” Nancy says in a coy tone of voice. “It’s really about the nuances of everyday life, the relationship between our id and ego.” She continues, “The umbrella symbolizes protection and the bike represents freedom.”

She refers to her work as gestural impressionism, a term she coined upon realization that her paintings didn’t necessarily fit into a classical style but rather walked a fine line within the confines of fauvism, impressionism, abstraction and realism. “I’m obviously a contemporary artist but I wanted to define it further than with this broad term so I came to a comfortable place with my gestural strokes evoking an impressionistic feeling, hence ‘gestural impressionism’ was born”.

A few years ago, Nancy decided that she’d never paint again unless it was for the greater good of humanity or the broadening of education locally or across the globe. She now uses her art as a platform to create awareness or strengthen voices that may not be noticed. Most recently, she raised over $6000 for a not-for-profit called Lotus Pedals to provide all-terrain bicycles to young, underprivileged girls in Cambodia. Her year-long dedication to this cause culminated into a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia where she was part of a dedication ceremony in the village where the bicycles were given to young girls.

Nancy Hilliard Joyce, mixed-media fine artist. Photo: Charley Akers
Nancy Hilliard Joyce, mixed-media fine artist. Photo: Charley Akers

Prior to this, she painted 13 historical and influential women and gave back to Girls on the Run of Asheville. Next year, she is collaborating with a few other artists to bring awareness to the Monarch depletion and the degradation of our land. The artists will be giving back to Monarch Watch and the interactive show will open near Mother’s Day 2016 and eventually migrate down the East coast and into Florida.

Nancy works late hours in order to balance family as well as a few new projects she’s got up her sleeve. Although she’s not yet willing to divulge her plans she does say, “I have some exciting things going on and I generally work a few years ahead of myself. I constantly challenge myself, it’s invigorating and keeps my mind charged. I like to cultivate ideas, have them marinate and then just send them off into the world to do their thing.”

Not surprisingly, Nancy continues to follow the beat of her own drum – she is saying goodbye to the River Arts District on December 31. She’s taking these ideas into her home studio. Stay tuned…

Nancy Hilliard Joyce, mixed-media fine artist, has works displayed in the OMNI Grove Park Inn, The Windsor Asheville, Désirant, The Asheville House in Black Mountain, and in ONE in Greenville, SC.