Nanci was blessed from an early age with vision and the power to manifest her dreams. Growing up, her earliest inspiration came from a children's book: Harold and the Purple Crayon. Like Harold, Nanci could create a world of her own simply by drawing it into being. Growing up in an abusive, alcoholic, and drug addicted family, Nanci favored fantasy over reality and chose to retreat into a world of art. At age 9, she had a repetitive dream in which she crossed over a stone footbridge to find herself in other worlds. From this dream, she discovered she could use her imagination to shape and manifest the reality of her dreams. Over the years, she has brought to life many of her hopes and dreams of travel, education, having a child, buying a home, and building a successful business. In her coaching method Nanci coaches you on a journey to achieve your dreams and live into them. With credibility and vulnerability, Nanci shares her own journey. For example, when Nanci was told in her mid-thirties she could not have children, she did not give up on her dream of being a mother. Like Harold with his magic crayon, Nanci created a pictorial journal entry of herself, holding a blue baby carrier, at an art opening of her illustrations. A few months after giving birth, Nanci had a solo art show. She was wearing a blue snuggly at the opening with her healthy baby boy close to her heart. She showed her journal entry to her husband when they returned home and he was awestruck. The photo shown here is of Nanci with her now 22 year old son, Lucas on a Helohike atop the Fox Glacier in New Zealand.


A practice in seeing

Artist Statement

A flying gargoyle carries a severed foot dripping blood in it’s talons and a fire breathing dragon barricades a woman held prisoner in a tree hollow.

I produced these early black and white fantasy illustrations which reflected my need to escape a difficult family life. At 16 years of age I quit High School and left home. I was not your typical drop out. I completed a GED, went to community college at night and transferred to Long Island University at age 17. There I studied Art Education with a minor in Psychology. 

I’d always wanted to be an artist but I didn’t believe I would be capable of earning a living so I pursued a masters degree in Counseling. 

Today I own a thriving business, Ukandu Coaching & Counseling Services and my creative expression has never felt more vibrant. A few years ago I joined The Portland Portrait Society and have attended weekly Sunday gatherings we candidly call Art Church. For me drawing portraits is a practice in seeing. 

I am currently creating a series of Art Quilts to honor human resilience and empower those who have suffered from abuse. These art quilts combine my love for fibers arts and graphic illustration. They are saturated with color while incorporating bold appliquéd illustrations in black thread on white fabric. The first image is of a man tied to the horn of a fire breathing dragon as a woman who wields a sword high above her head comes to the rescue.