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Nancy Lawler

Born in El Paso, Texas

Lives & works in Goshen, Ohio


When I was little, I got in trouble for drawing circles all over the wall in the hallway. With a crayon.

I think I was about 4. That would mean it was probably in Alaska. Or it could've been Washington.


And although not with a crayon, I continued to draw circles. They filled the margins of my notes through junior and senior high (4 schools in 6 years- I am an Army brat). Ballpoint, pencil, later Rapidograph pens, and later still Microns and Staedtlers. In 2004, I became a glass beadmaker. Working at a surface-mix torch, I made circles on beads- Warring States beads required a lot of circle training. I was a natural.

And I've been a spinner for more than 35 years. On a spinning wheel- which, I'd like to point out, is a big circle. I had a herd of 38 Angora rabbits and spun beautiful soft yarns- it's true, spinning Angora is like spinning clouds. I plied them with crazy things like feathers, and pearls, and metallic threads.


When I was making beads, I would occasionally dream that I was painting. Painting great big canvases, splashing paint around with abandon. So, finally, egged on by my Dad, the painter Frank Lawler, who gave me a bunch of brushes and paints, I tried my hand at it.


It wasn't love at first sight, like bunnies, or glass. But it was a steady progression I can only compare to what I've heard people say about learning golf. That you play rotten game after game, and the only thing that keeps you going, is the occasional fantastic round, or one beautiful shot. I slog away at painting, and occasionally, I paint a really nice one.


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