Soundings - - Seascapes - OIL PAINT­ING BY NANCY ZYDLER — Steve Knauth

“This is a scene from a month’s cruise in Antarc­tica,” says artist Nancy Zydler. “When this sail­ing boat ap­peared, we re­al­ized how tiny our boat was, too, in this vast seascape of moun­tains and ice. The yacht was sail­ing fast around ice­bergs, bergy bits and growlers — an ex­cit­ing task even in a calm, but quite chal­leng­ing when the wind pipes up and some se­ri­ous-size ice may be mis­taken for a break­ing wave.”

Zydler and her pho­tog­ra­pher hus­band, Tom, are world cruis­ers who have tra­versed the high lat­i­tudes of both hemi­spheres. This im­age came from a voy­age aboard Whale

Song, a 94-foot Trin­ity/Hal­ter ex­pe­di­tion yacht mak­ing a cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion. “We now sail our Ma­son 44, Frances B, fol­low­ing ice­berg-rich lo­ca­tions,” Zydler says. “Three voy­ages to Green­land and six to Labrador.”

And that’s where her art orig­i­nates. Zydler has com­pleted 63 ice­berg paint­ings and finds in­spi­ra­tion in the re­gion’s wildlife — “north­ern birds on the wing,” as she puts it. “I set my easel on the sa­loon ta­ble, and this is my stu­dio — 66 de­grees, 33 min­utes north, the Arc­tic Cir­cle. I have also tied the easel on the bow to paint as we drifted in ice as far north as 71 de­grees, 30 min­utes north.”

Antarc­tica, Neumayer Chan­nel is painted in oils, with Zydler us­ing a stan­dard pal­ette of cool and warm tones of each of the pri­mary col­ors, along with ti­ta­nium white. “I also keep a trans­par­ent red ox­ide to mix with ul­tra­ma­rine blue to make black,” she says. “This al­lows me to go cooler or warmer in the dark ar­eas.”

Art and sail­ing work to­gether in ben­e­fi­cial ways, the artist says. “I want the viewer to want to ex­pe­ri­ence the beauty and pres­ence of ice, such a vi­tal, yet to most peo­ple some­what re­mote, world within our world.”

In Jan­uary, Zydler plans to be ashore to dis­play 40 of her works at the Jekyll Island Arts As­so­ci­a­tion on Jekyll Island, Ge­or­gia. More of her work can be seen at

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