As an artist, it is important to create art that is unique to me. I began dividing my work into segments in graduate school. My first three paintings were under-painted with my grandmothers’ patchwork quilting patterns. I made patchwork quilts for many years before learning to paint, so I was infusing my paintings with my family history. I painted florals over the patchwork created unusual segments. It was interesting work. At some point I intend to return to that idea for an upcoming series of paintings that I continue to think about and will eventually commit to canvas.

The paintings, however, were labor intensive and time consuming, and I was growing weary of the work. The great Chuck Close gave a lecture one evening at the St. Louis Art Museum displaying slides of his huge portraits based entirely on a grid with various colors placed within the grid. As he wheeled this wheelchair away from the podium, I felt like the laziest artist alive.

Since that evening, I have committed myself to segmenting my paintings, no matter how long each piece may take to finish. Many of my pieces have taken 300 hours or more. I am proud of the work.

– Nancy Friederich

My journey through life has been amazing and, at times, incredibly challenging.

I grew up in Southern Illinois, the oldest of three children. My childhood years were wonderful. Growing up in a small town with family and friends close by was the childhood every kid should have.

I had no real interest in art until I was in my early 30’s. A friend was taking a Wednesday evening art class, and producing some amazing paintings. I wanted to try my hand, but with a family and a job, I had little time. Eventually I made time, and I was hooked immediately.I struggled to learn as much as possible.

For any mother raising a house full of growing boys, one must always wait. Finally, at 46 years of age I returned to college to soak up as much information as my art professors had to share.

My Master of Fine Arts Degree was completed when I was 56, and I immediately began teaching at Southwestern Illinois College. Although I am proud of what I have accomplished, my greatest achievements are my wonderful sons and sweet grandchildren.

Nancy Friederich Resume/CV


Nov. 10th, 2013 – St. Louis Post Dispatch – Artist’s vivid paintings bring her home alive, by Diane Raab Wiggins

September, 2012 Belleville News Democrat, Belleville Historical Society Plein Air Painting Event

June 17, 2007, St. Clair County Journal, “Back to the Beginning”

December 14, 2006, Belleville News Democrat, “Faculty Art on Display”

July 20, 2003, Granite City Press, “Back to Basics”

August 22, 1997, Belleville News Democrat, “Art Transcends Personal Crises”

Mascoutah, IL Heritage Museum website, “Visual Images Artists”