We have to start by saying that my sister and I have always been fans of Nancy’s work. Then something happened three years ago. Truth be told, I believe it was a God Moment. If you have ever had one of these, you know what I am referring to. The strong feeling that you are in a special place and time and God is with you. This was one of those moments for me. We attended a local fund raiser and an item in high demand was a large print of Big Dog Lullaby. My sister had to have it. She even stomped her feet to emphasize her desire to be the owner of that print.
The good news is we had the winning bid and proudly took the print home. Our mother is the brains in the group and she wisely directed us to take the print to Nancy’s gallery, the Sanctuary in Zionsville IN and have Nancy frame it. So the following Saturday off we went with poster in hand. I was just going along for the ride, not to purchase anything or so I thought. We had been to the gallery before but this time was different. We felt immediately peaceful when we walked in and feeling the joy and emotion from each of the paintings.
Then we headed to the lower level of the gallery and spent a few hours on our mission. We soon learned that limited editions on canvas look just like originals and fit perfectly in our budget…and better yet we could order them in custom sizes. My plan of just going along for the ride quickly vanished because there were two images that spoke to me and I had to have them. So off I went with Unreasonable Now and Fly Away.
As we recall our journey now, my sister reminded me that this was actually our second silent auction Noel purchase. Many years ago, we attended a fund raiser and Boy with Halo was one of the items. The minute I saw it, I knew I had to have it. I watched the bidding like a hawk and made sure my number was the last one on the sheet before the auction ended. The reason this Noel spoke to me is because the little boy looked exactly like a little boy that came to our family for several months. His name was Sean and our Mom and Dad took him in when they found out that his parents could not care for him due to their own personal demons. Our parents tried to adopt him but were told they were too old to care for a six-year-old child. Eventually Sean’s parents were able to get the help they needed and we had to give Sean back to them. Thanks to Nancy’s Boy with Halo, we are reminded of that wonderful child every day.
Boy with Halo
A few months after our initial purchases, our mother passed away and there was a deep emptiness and void that we had in our hearts. Mom was bigger than life and
together we were the Three Musketeers. We had great times together and the weekends were usually the days for our adventures with Mom. She was incredibly fun to be with and the glue that would put us back together when we were broken. She was also the voice of reason when we needed it.
We didn’t know it then but something drew us back to the Sanctuary. I believe it was another God Moment. We started spending Saturdays there and now we realize those Saturdays helped us heal from the loss of our Mom. We met very special people who shared our love of Nancy’s art and made great friends along the way. Then gradually we discovered that the joy and peace we felt with our initial purchases could be multiplied as we fell in love with many more images. My sister and I would agree that you can’t have just one. We filled the blank spaces on our walls with our favorite canvas prints. As a result, we each have the feel of a mini Noel Sanctuary in our homes. We are grateful to start every day surrounded by the joy of her work and eager to come home at night and relax in the peace that it provides.
We never really paid too much attention to art in general until we had the blessing to meet Nancy and get to know her. She shared with us the stories of her creative process and how certain paintings evolved. The art not only prompts an emotional response but provides feelings of joy and peace when you are surrounded by it. One of our favorite Sanctuary moments is the Saturday afternoon when we were there and Nancy came bouncing down the stairs with the still wet rolled up original of Velveteen Rabbit. She unrolled the canvas for us so we could see it and we immediately knew we had to have that one too.
My sister and I have very different homes now. Instead of empty walls, there are gorgeously framed Noels in each room. It has truly been a life changing journey for us and we are grateful for the memories that our Sanctuary friends have given us and the inspirational art that now fills our homes.
When Nancy told us about her new “Look Book”, it inspired us to write about our experience. Nancy’s work enhanced our homes but more importantly renews our spirit each day.