Nancy Sorensen

Nancy Sorensen

Variety is key for landscape artist

Tour of the Arts 2011 will be artist Nancy Sorensen's second time partaking in the event and showing her work to the Columbia Valley.

Tour of the Arts 2011 will be artist Nancy Sorensen’s second time partaking in the event and showing her work to the Columbia Valley.

“I had a lot of fun,” said Sorensen of her last tour participation, which was two years ago.

The Edmonton-born painter first taught in the elementary system for 10 years after receiving her B.Ed in 1980 from the University of Alberta.

Sorensen now paints and lives in Edmonton and the Columbia Valley, working with oil and acrylic paints.

Her favourite painted subjects are landscapes, which has inspired her to create a specialized commission business called “Favourite Places,” where clients can request a particular place of their preference for Sorensen to paint.

“I’m kind of all over the place,” said Sorensen when it comes to her painting methods. “I like to try different styles, I don’t like to get stuck in a forte. I change it up for fun and because it’s interesting. It’s kind of like cooking — I wouldn’t want to cook the same thing every day.”

Sorensen’s scenery work drifts from impressionistic to other painting styles. She has also done a series of paintings for Ronald McDonald House Charity featuring children in various locations.

Sorensen and her art will be on display at the Gratton residence during this year’s tour, along with her painted Muskoka chair, as part of this tour’s Muskoka chair auction event.

“When I was first approached to paint the chair, I knew I wanted to do a landscape,” said Sorensen. “But when I was looking at the chair’s shape, I thought ‘birch trees.'”

Sorensen’s chair, done with a palette knife and acrylic paints, has indeed been painted using layered colours and textures to look like a forest of birch trees, with a leaf-covered forest floor at the trees’ base.

“It’s been varnished several times,” Sorensen explained. “However, I would suggest that whoever gets the chair not leave it out in the elements for too long.”

The chair is currently on display at the Columbia Valley Visitor’s Centre at the Crossroads, just outside of Invermere.

During her display at the Gratton residence, Sorensen will be holding free interactive painting lessons for visitors.

If guests are pleased with the collaborative work, the canvases will be available for purchase, framed, for $50.

To see more of Sorensen’s work, visit

For more information about Tour of the Arts 2011, coming up on July 31, visit the Columbia Valley Arts website at