“The overarching theme of my work is a personal narrative about home and family. I use my art to hold parts of life, finding the threads that entwine our experiences to examine identity, create meaning and build community. Stories of events, as well as objects, flow in and out of my paintings, drawings and sculptures. What we remember, collect, save, and leave behind, all inform and inspire my work.”


What began with a return to printmaking as a centering prayer, these flowing mixed media works are a beloved tribute and an intention to find grace and beauty in our ephemeral lives.

Waterfall Series

This series captures the transitory nature of our being. Cascading fragmented patterns, gestural marks and assorted textures are part of my visual vocabulary to capture an internal and somatic landscape of our experiences. The netting offers tribute to my history of growing up in a millinery family surrounded by dramatic hats and accessories with veils and trimmings and signifies what we collect, filter and hold. The layered textures and patterns unfurl as a tribute: an intention to excavate grace and beauty in our ephemeral lives. Each panel was printed as a monotype (unique print) on a table top etching press on synthetic non-woven paper using water based etching ink with additional ink drawn or rolled directly onto the surface, spray paint, graphite or collage.


Dini, my beloved black lab is my centering mantra, my guide and muse. She stands in/or swims, as me; navigating uncertain waters as a woman, mother, daughter, and citizen who is deeply concerned about our fragile world in turmoil. Children leaving the nest, aging; our own and our parents, the death of a family member be they on two or four legs, mark the passage of time and inevitable change.

Snapshots from our walks together at nearby White Clay Creek Park are opportunities to embrace small moments and reflect on bigger questions around love, loss, joy, fear, longing and are the inspiration for these mixed media paintings

Beneath the Surface

In the midst of change or personal turmoil, I have always found my center in and near water.

My backyard pond is a sanctuary for me to sit, meditate, practice yoga, and paint. Pond life is continually moving and changing with the weather, the seasons, as well as moment to moment.  Some of the smaller pieces are snapshots – moments frozen in time. The larger paintings are more like water itself, constantly in flux, with life shifting above and below the surface. Process and presence are part of an ongoing investigation and connection to something larger than self.


Like the flotsam and jetsam that wash ashore entangled and intertwined, I am interested in our interconnectedness and how our individual stories are part of something larger than self. This work is an exploration- and celebration of moments that are fleeting and full of grace. Nets, webs, and nests are created with mixed media and found objects to hold, filter, and catch the minutia of our lives. Seemingly unrelated elements come together as an intimate journal to discover our interconnectedness, and to find meaning and beauty in our ephemeral lives.



  1. Carolyn Young
    May 22, 2015

    Your work is beautiful and thought provoking and I love your website. Congratulations on your cover article in Professional Artist Magazine!

    • Nanci Hersh
      June 8, 2015

      Thank you Carolyn for visiting my site and your kind supportive words. Greatly appreciated!

  2. Rick Scoville
    August 3, 2015

    Such a soft and refreshing use of color. Beautiful

    • Nanci Hersh
      August 7, 2015

      Thank you Rick. The love and respect we share for the water is a constant inspiration.

  3. Val Kim
    November 18, 2015

    Hi Nanci!
    It was so great to see you on Oahu! I’m so glad I got to go to the show. Your work is wonderful – My favs are the light/whites w just a few splashes of color…it takes the mind and kickstarts the imagination – Beneath the Surface and Frenzy – love them!!
    Take Good care of yourself honey – Malama pono – lets keep in touch! aloha mai,
    http://www.vyok.com – if you get a chance – check out my last exhibtion – Light Speed -2012 – there is a video I made for the show(8″) and of the installation(3″)

    • Nanci Hersh
      November 21, 2015

      It was great to see you as well Val. Thank you for taking the time to visit here and for your comments. I recently went to your website as well and can see that we are kindred spirits. Wow. Beautiful shots and of course we are both drawn to the beauty, colors and spirit of our beloved koi. I am glad that we reconnected and I look forward to sharing our work together.

  4. Liza
    May 31, 2021

    Nanci, your work is magical. Floating. Lyrical. Fascinating. The intricate imagery draws me into a world of joyful water and light. Thanks so much for sharing your explorations of the world.

    • Nanci Hersh
      June 1, 2021

      Thank you Liza, coming from you this means a great deal to me. With heartfelt appreciation for your generosity of spirit and gift of beauty to the world.


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