Nancy McLean’s practice encompasses a myriad of international styles. Influenced by Korean and Japanese architecture, Western European art, and her own Canadian heritage, McLean’s recent oil paintings are overwhelmed with bright colors, textures, line, and figurative elements. Her paintings recall an imaginary world lost in time and filled with childlike wonder and whimsy. In Houses with Pieces, trees that resemble dwellings spring from the ground and appear to dance across the canvas, whereas in Hurry! (2017), we observe a warmly lit marshland adorned with cobwebs, spiders, and miniature, human-like figures. The artist explains: “In my current, unique style, I strive to create an image of an imaginary world, almost childlike and naïve. However, buried below the obvious is always a deeper meaning.”
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, McLean received an Art History degree at McMaster University. She then studied under artist Leo Wong in an effort to learn more about the ancient art of Chinese brush painting. She eventually moved on to teach Chinese Brush Painting at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. This technique is perhaps McLean’s biggest inspiration, and has greatly influenced her all-over compositional approach and depth of perspective.