From the silver screen to the canvas, a Santa Clarita artist has turned her dreams into a business.
Nancy Eckels, a Sand Canyon resident, says she has been an artistic person for her whole life, from being a director on “The Bold and the Beautiful” to working for herself as a professional abstract painter.
Eckels directed in the film industry for 25 years but quit 15 years ago to pursue a dream of being a painter.
“I wanted to do something on my own where my opinion is the only thing that mattered,” Eckels said. “That’s how I make my living. You really have to, as an artist, have a lot of things in the fire.“
To make a living, she sells her paintings, has a couple galleries, works with art consultants and also rents out her artwork to be used in motion pictures. She has also won several awards for her artwork.
“I had a big painting in ‘Iron Man 3’ that was 4-feet-by-7-feet,” she said. “It was above the bed in Tony Stark‘s bedroom.”
Eckels creates nonrepresentational abstract paintings, which means there usually isn’t an expectation of idea of what the final product will look like.
“I get my inspiration when I see color combinations or when I see textures, nature, other arts,” she said. “I rarely have a preconceived notion of where I’m going when I start.”
Eckels has dozens of paintings displayed on her website and used to be a member of the Santa Clarita Artist’s Association. Eckels does commissions as well, often making people a different size painting of one of the pieces she had already created.
“I usually work on one painting at a time but sometimes when you get stuck on one you put it aside,” Eckels said. “I’m working out of an upstairs studio and I set my paintings in the family room where we spend most of our time. I sit for days and stare at the paintings and then decide if it’s complete.”
“I do a lot traveling to art fairs and art festivals. I’m looking to cut back a little as I get older. My fantasy is to just sit in my studio and paint while someone drives a truck to my door and I sell the painting there.”
She has lived in the Santa Clarita Valley with her husband for 21 years. Together, Eckels and her husband fish and became trained scuba divers. She also is a member of the Santa Clarita Poker Club.
“It’s nice to work for yourself, it’s also stressful. When I left television, I just wanted for work for myself,” she said. “I always thought I wanted to be in showbusiness. I don’t have any children and for someone with children, art wouldn’t be practical but for me, it was perfect.”