A red door, trimmed with giant colored pencils, invites you into the creative world of artist Nadi Spencer. Well known for her colorist paintings and murals, Spencer is excited to share her passion with visitors to Three Rivers, located in the southern Sierra Nevada. Always happy to take a break, she offers plump chairs and coffee by the wood stove. Canvases and framed originals fill the room, along with prints, cards and gift items adorning her art. Her Great Dane takes up most of the floor.
Spencer has been a professional artist for 40 years, painting in watercolor and acrylics, loving both. "It's rejuvenating," she says, "like changing the music from opera to rock." When asked what inspires her, she says she has a strong emotional attachment to the foothills and mountains of the Sierra surrounding her gallery, and looks forward to spending a lifetime painting the area. "I live in the most beautiful place in the world. You just have to stop, stand still, and open your eyes. It's all there – color, line, light. I'll never run out of subject material."
In addition to landscapes, Nadi paints pet portraits and murals and has also created a line of vegan recipe greeting cards, called Nadi's Table. Her newest cards depict food served "en plein air" on the Kaweah River.
Visitors to Three Rivers, California can see paintings in progress and are encouraged to watch the progression on her blog Nadi Spencer Art, where she leads you from concept to fruition, updating the process each day. "The painting could fail. People find it more interesting if you are vulnerable – the risk of falling on your face makes it real."
Spencer likes the challenge of trying something that might be beyond her capabilities. She works in her studio 7 days a week – work and pleasure are synonymous – unless working on a mural. Whatever her current project is, fun is a critical factor. "Painting is magic and I want magic in my life every day. There isn't anything more exciting. I woke up this morning and thought – I'm living my dream life."
To get to Nadi's Studio, take Hwy 198 (Sierra Drive) towards the mountains, to 41838 Sierra Drive.