Nancy Marstaller's picture

I love the process of representing what I see in the outer world and in my inner life, then connecting the two. Ever since I was a teenager I have been making artwork trying to depict my spiritual journey.  Perhaps at least partly because I grew up as a Quaker artist, coming from a tradition that worships in unadorned meetinghouses without sacred art, I have the urge to represent spiritual experience in physical form. My best work happens when I get out of the way and let Spirit work through me.

I started making prayer flags in 2014, as one way of sending positive energy out into the world. I noticed that people seemed to be taking in and often overwhelmed by negative news and ideas, even though there is so much good in the world. I started making flag strings: imagining and seeing them fluttering in the breeze and sending out positive energy- as a way to counteract the negativity. The prints are inspired by what I see, what I dream, how I want to dance in the world.

Making prayer flags got me back into printmaking, after many years of working mainly in watercolor, pencil, and collage. As you can see, much of my art is inspired by the world around me, especially birds. I grew up in Freeport and now live in Harpswell, near the ocean and surrounded by woods, a pond, and the gardens we have created around our home. I work with watercolor, pencils, collage, printing, and fabric, and recently have started to create small books. During my many years as nurse, then educator, I have also taught classes in drawing, watercolor, and egg decorating.

My work has been shown in local businesses and galleries. I have flag strings, prints, and decorative eggs on display at Markings Gallery in Bath. The eggs are dyed using traditional Ukrainian methods and tools but decorated with my own designs.