As a visual artist, I cannot help but respond to the environment surrounding me. Over forty years of making art, my subject matter has ranged from landscape to figure to still life to flowers:  mountains and rivers in Colorado, factories in Boston, people I have met, and objects I’m fascinated by. 

My early art training began at the Art Institute of Chicago. From 1992 to 1997, I studied with Herman Rowan, Carl Bethke, and Tom Cowette at the University of Minnesota.  From 1998 to 2001, I worked in watercolor with Bici Petit-Baron through the Radcliffe Landscape Design Program in Cambridge, MA.

My work ranges from traditional oils to photography to abstract collage. My underlying interest, however, is in the natural form:  landscape, figure, or object.  I have used combinations of acrylic, watercolor, and oil paint, often with layering for translucency or texture.  My favorite process is to pull natural forms out of the abstract application of mixed media. I love to use saturated color, bringing a sense of delight to the painting, and perhaps a little whimsy.

My best works are accidents which occur when I am in the midst of risking something new.  I like work which retains a sense of experimentation, a roughness, an imperfection in its finish.  I am trying to express in the vigor and pressure of my application my passion to connect with the natural world in a tactile manner.


Nancy Houfek Brown is an established Oregon artist living and working in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. Her recent paintings have been showing at the Columbia Center for the Arts Gallery in Hood River and Verum Ultimum Gallery in Portland. Ten of her large works were on exhibit at the Portland International Airport from August 2016 through July 2017. Her art has also been shown in galleries in California, Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, where she was a juried member of the Cambridge Artists' Association.

Major exhibits include a mixed media installation in "Altars and Shrines" at the Durango Center for the Arts; a solo show of thirty-three paintings, "Landscapes in Mixed Media", at Harvard University; participation in a decade of "Art in the Garden" shows at the Columbia Center for the Arts Gallery, culminating in a featured show during November 2016 called "Remembrance"; and a five month solo exhibit of thirty works at Cathedral Ridge Winery in Hood River, OR in spring 2018.