Featured Artist – Nancy Tobey – Studio 104

Our newest Featured Artist is Encaustic Painter & Glass Bead Maker Nancy Tobey! Here goes…

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Q: Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study? How long have you been an artist?

A: Maybe I was born an artist, but I didn’t really get my first big break until the mid ’90s when I first learned how to use a torch to melt glass. That is when I began my journey into the world of glass beadmaking. I was primarily self taught – reading books, and eventually meeting up with other beadmakers enhanced what I knew and moved me forward in my work. Being a full time beadmaker has been an incredible experience in my life – I truly loved going to work. But several years ago, I decided I needed a hobby and took up painting – starting off with watercolor but quickly moving into encaustic (painting with hot wax) painting. Me and the torch just could not separate! That hobby quickly turned to an obsession, and I am happily wearing two ‘artistic’ hats right now.

Q: What is the first thing you remember making/creating by hand?

A: I am pretty sure that the first thing I made were those woven cotton pot holds – made on a steel loom in all kinds of colors…..loved them! I was a lucky kid, in that my birthday gifts were almost always arts and craft related.
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Q: What do you love most about your art?

A:  Would it be corny to say “just doing it?” Truly though, my joy is in the making. Each time I try something – a new technique or new material – I get a rush of adrenaline. Of course after I make something, I kinda love just looking at it too!

Q: Describe a typical art creativity session. What is it like? For example, do you work in silence, or do you work to music? Do you prefer to be alone, or do you need people around?

A:  If I am making glass – I cannot listen to music. I usually listen to audible books – and find it very easy to concentrate. But painting is different. It is much more physical – I am always moving around the studio and music works really well for me. In both cases, I am at my best when I am working solo.

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Q: How does your personality translate into your art?

A: Short story – its colorful!

Q: Do you have a big seller? What do you think people love about it? And be honest…are you tired of making it?

A: My big seller – its still glass and in particular a bead style called Milano Leaf. Im not tired of making it, though I don’t make as many as I used to — now a days I make maybe 2 -3 a month. In the past I would make 3-5 in a day!

*You can meet Nancy in her Studio 104 on First Saturday Open Studios. Stop by and say Hello!!

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WAS this Weekend Holiday Edition

Don’t forget to join the artists of Western Avenue Studios this weekend for Holiday Open Studios Weekend #1. In honor of the gift giving season December Open Studios is both Saturday and Sunday 12 to 5 for the first two weekends in December.


Gallery Z in downtown Lowell will be featuring artwork and giftable items from Western Avenue Studio artists Katherine DuBose Fuerst and Renee Mallett of Amaranth & Rue Handmade Soaps for the holiday season. Gallery Z is located at 167 Market Street.

“Winter Lights” kicks off this weekend at the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios. This show features giftable items made by gallery members. Reception to be held on Saturday December 5th from 5:00 to 7:00

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Daniel Mathieu & Rufiya Blank have collaborated to bring you the show “Double Vision” through December at the Ayer Lofts Gallery in Downtown Lowell. There will be an opening reception on December 4th from 6-8pm

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Jennifer Clement’s show “In-between” is at the Flaneur Gallery in Wenham from December 1st through January 8th with an opening reception on Friday December 4th.
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Kathy Clericuzio’s colored pencil artwork titled “Ears Two You” is part of the Invitational Members Exhibition at the Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., Lowell from November 18th through January 16th.


The Gallery at Loft 27 on Jackson Street in Lowell are featuring jewelry and artwork from Sukey Blake and Jean Sulecki throughout December.


Daniel Mathieu and Rufiya Blank will be showing their works at the Ayer Lofts Gallery in December. “Double Vision” will pair his black and white photographs of New York City with her floral imagery to produce unique vision. The exhibit begins December 4th with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 at the Ayers Loft Gallery on Middle Street in Lowell.

Painter Laurie Simko (Studio A512) is part of the New Members’ Show at the Rockport Art Association. This show runs until Dec. 6th.


Renee Mallett of Amaranth & Rue Handmade Soaps will be selling her soaps, lip balms, and other bath and body products at Winter Giftopolis in Concord, NH from 6:00 to midnight on December 4th.

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Abundance: A solo show featuring encaustic paintings by Nancy Tobey will be at the Mandarin Asian Bistro in Lowell from November 3rd through January 2nd