Nancy Collins: Lesson on art, life

TUPELO – Real life has a way of getting between an artist and her work.
During Tuesday’s luncheon lecture at GumTree Museum of Art, Nancy Collins recounted how painting had to take a back seat to work and family.
“When I’ve painted, it’s been between children and life,” she said.
The 62-year-old Collins decided it was time to give her art work some focused attention. She signed up for a week-long study program in Italy.
“The kids said, ‘Mother, you’re going to wind up in a foreign jail,'” Collins told more than 65 people who attended the luncheon.
She found inspiration to follow through on her plan in Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way.” In the book, the author writes: “We act like it is God’s fault that we did not go to Europe and take a painting class.”
In May, Collins and her friend, Sue Scruggs, went to Lenno, Italy. They studied with artist Jerry Fresia at a villa on Lake Como for a week.
“We painted for six to eight hours a day,” Collins said.
Tuesday’s event was titled “Painting Lessons in Italy,” but Collins said it should’ve been titled “Painting and Life Lessons in Italy.”
“God is our creator. He created us in his own image,” she said. “That means each one of us has a creative spark.”
Collins has been a speech pathologist and a registered nurse, and she’s devoted her time to Sanctuary Hospice House.
Life has a way of getting between an artist and her work, she said, but art is too important to let go for long.
“One of the things I learned is there’s an artist in each one of us,” she said. “Different people have different creative gifts. We all need to express them.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or

M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

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