Finding Your Authentic Voice

by Nancy Guzik, 1990, oil,
40 x 24. Private collection.

It’s a new year and a new decade, and no doubt some of your 2010 resolutions relate to your art career. Whether you’ve promised to make more time for drawing or painting, have specific goals related to professional success, or are simply learning to approach the art process with a different perspective or purpose, now is a great time to glean inspiration from those whose work we greatly admire.

I recently interviewed Nancy Guzik for her feature article in the March 2010 issue of American Artist, and after speaking with her for nearly two hours I hung up the phone with a renewed sense of what it means to be an artist. Her thoughtful perspective made me realize the profound privilege and great responsibility that comes with being a creative being. We have the power—through our drawings, paintings, words, or music—to influence our culture and share our view of the world around us.

The title of the article is “Nancy Guzik: Finding an Authentic Voice,” and in it Nancy talks about embracing what it is that makes her unique as a painter, discovering why she is drawn to certain subject matter, and letting go of fear that can inhibit her full creative potential. She talks about the artists she admires and says how it’s the honesty of one’s own personal language coming through that really captivates the viewer. “No other artist sees the world exactly as you do or feels what you feel—that story is yours alone to tell,” she says. “When you become vulnerable enough to paint what’s inside of you, that other dimension starts to come through in your work.”

I hope Nancy’s words of wisdom and beautiful imagery will be as inspiring to you as they were to me, and will give you the confidence to fearlessly share your visual voice with the world in the year ahead!

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Allison Malafronte

About Allison Malafronte

Allison Malafronte is the senior editor of American Artist magazines, and the project editor of  Plein Air Painting and Workshop With the Masters magazines. She is also the creative manager of the Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference ( which was launched in 2009 and is now in its third year. She is author of the Art for Thought column in American Artist magazine (also on the Artist Daily site under The Artist's Life blog) and the 2008-2010 Plein Air blogs on Artist Daily. 

4 thoughts on “Finding Your Authentic Voice

  1. Alyson, wow I’m so excited to read this article. Nancy is a good friend of mine. She is a dear, dear person who wishes to share with artists. AND she is a master painter!

    She has taught me a lot of valuable lessons about being an artist and about drawing/painting. On occasions when I’ve gotten the chance to watch her paint, I just stand there in awe. She painted me from life for 2 days, and I noticed that every time she observed me, she squinted. Then she thought, mixed the color, looked and squinted again – and then applied the paint stroke.

    I learned a lot from her that day and it taught me to first, squint, think… and slow down a bit. There’s no hurry!

    Thank you for writing and interviewing Nancy. Can’t wait!

  2. Alyson, I’m looking forward to reading this article. Nancy’s paintings are so wonderful and sensitive. This sounds like a keeper (I don’t have room to keep all my magazines).

    This year I’m continuing studies with Dennis Sheehan who knows Nancy and raves about her work. Dennis is helping us find our voice in various ways one of which is; “what kind of music do you listen to while painting?”. He feels that the emotional feelings transferred to the canvas are close to those evoked by the music that touches us emotionally. Listening to more and different music has helped me narrow my scope to develop a certain style.

    I’ve found that painting in groups can sometimes inhibit me from reaching within to transfer those emotions to my paintings. I’m working on having the confidence to express my paintings as I feel they should be.

  3. I’m so excited to see Nancy’s beautiful work grace the cover of this issue, and can’t wait to have a copy of it. She’s an amazing painter and delightful person – a true master artist in every way!