Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela,
Nanybel started painting with watercolors and oils at the age of five. Soon enough she discovered charcoal and pastels, and fell in love with portraiture, which became her self-taught and lifelong pursuit.
Her education includes the study of Architecture in Caracas; and the French language at La Sorbonne University and Architecture of Interiors at the private art college Académie Charpentier, in Paris.
Back in Caracas, she founded a unique art and crafts business, which launched me into national television, hosting my own live segment on a weekly show.
After moving to the United States in 1996, I quickly earned a reputation for my realistic portrait style, completed many commissions and won several awards at fine art competitions. In 2011, after years of doing portraits strictly by commission and teaching portraiture drawing through private classes- but otherwise in relative isolation from the art world- I added floral paintings to my portfolio and joined The Portrait Society of Atlanta, Southeastern Pastel Society, Degas Pastel Society, Pastel Society of America, North Cobb Arts League and Quinlan Arts Center. I had the privilege to study with master portraitist Jon Houghton and master Pastel artist Fred Somers, and resumed exhibiting my work, entered fine art competitions and won several national and international awards. I was asked to write and article on Jon Houghton’s recent workshop at the Portrait Society of Atlanta, which was published in the most recent issue of their prestigious FOLIO magazine. I was also asked to be the model for the Portrait Society of Atlanta workshop by artist Dawn Whitelaw on Feb 2-4, 2012.
Ever since, I have written several articles and have served as editor and photographer for the FOLIO magazine, I have modeled for the Atlanta Artists Center and have been featured and interviewed by “Voyage Atlanta” magazine.
I have earned the prestigious Southeastern Pastel Society’s “Member of Excellence” diploma and The Portrait Society of Atlanta’s “Member of Merit” Status.
Realism and detail attract me like iron to a magnet: the light reflected in an eye, a facial expression, the gentle fold in a barely translucent petal, for instance. I have tried to embrace other subjects, media, even traditional techniques, but invariably surrender to my obsession with portraiture using my personal approach and methods. At night in my studio, so quiet and surrounded by paper and boards, charcoals, pastels and some carefully chosen photographs, feels just like Heaven.
Nanybel has also lived in France and in the United Arab Emirates, and currently resides in Georgia, in the United States.
Grants & Awards
Exhibitions & Festivals