After graduating from Humboldt State University, cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in art, Nancy Isbell began her career at Sea World designing gifts and souvenirs. She traveled to the Virgin Islands in 1974 where she worked at an advertising agency as a graphic artist and illustrator. In 1976, after completing a teacher credential for teaching art, instead of teaching she began painting large works on restaurant walls, traveling all over the United States.
Since 1980 Nancy has been providing artistic services to clients: Murals, Trompe' l Oeil, Faux Finishes, Carousel Restoration, Signage, Illustration, Watercolors, Oils. In addition to producing artwork, she has been teaching seminars and classes in art techniques to adults and children in private lessons, summer camps, and in the public schools.
Her favorite challenge is to create a mood through the use of her own imagined idyllic settings. Some of the tangible results are in the form of murals, found in private residences, schools, and businesses. There may be an open window painted on a wall, sometimes just a faux finish and a few well chosen areas of detail are all a space needs.
Recently Nancy has been interested in painting water. Every painting of her own choosing, not the commissioned paintings, have an element of water. Having been born and raised near the beach in San Diego and living in the Virgin Islands created strong memories. She is fascinated by the play of light and the transparency of the different bodies of water.