Nancy Coyne

Much of my work is in the service of understanding myself and uncovering the tangled truth of my history and that of others. Dreams often drive an image onto a canvas. Fantasies, yearnings, strong emotions, and powerful experiences land on the canvas and shed light on what was hidden.

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Nancy Coyne, Dream Fisherman, acrylic, 18 x 24 in.

The Dream Fisherman awakened me to pay attention to the precious gifts he was finding in the depths of my favorite deep pond. A powerful masculine presence I hadn’t previously known in myself.

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Nancy Coyne, Horse Dreams, acrylic, 12 x 9 in.

Horse Dreams expresses the memory of, and longing for beloved horses from my childhood and presages my work in equine facilitated psychotherapy.

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Nancy Coyne, Marriage’s End, acrylic, 12 x 18 in.

Marriage’s End is an image of the deep grief I experienced at the loss of the love of my life.

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Nancy Coyne, Mother’s Eyes, acrylic, 12 x 8 in.

Mama’s Eyes is a complicated image of the power of my mother’s gaze and presence in the years after her death. It has helped me to understand the many bits of self I grew in childhood in her presence.


Winslow Myers
Myers 1 Low Sunlight

Winslow Myers, Low Sunlight, acrylic on canvas, 45 x 38.37 in., 2023.

The unconscious always plays a larger role than we think in making art, whether or not the explicit subject of a work is dreams or dreamlike motifs, or even if the artist tries to present visual reality “unadorned.” In the case of the two pieces I have submitted, I meant to play with conventional issues of light, color, and scale. What emerged in each case may be a shiver of something foreboding. This happened without my conscious intent.

Myers 2 Carscape 5

Winslow Myers, Carscape #5, acrylic on canvas, 43 7/8 x 43.75 in., 2023.


Rhea Côté-Robbins

I don’t necessarily want or need the “book” definition, the intellectual experience of the proverbs as my primary focus . . . not yet anyway. The collages are the story of my experience of the proverbs, sayings, maxims that maman disait had access to, from where I do not know, but without meaning to, passed onto me.

coterobbins 1 UnMalPourUnBien

Rhea Côté Robbins, Un mal pour un bien, collage, 10 x 13 in.

I have a memory of them being said both in French and English—heard culture, culture transference at the most-lived level—as ordinary, not extraordinary, in the course of the daily doings of a day. Cause and reaction—explanations by the hundreds of learned words, a mystery how or where she learned these, to explain, understand, express, observe, pronounce, sympathize, aggregate, observe the passing, daily world.

Toward foibles, the fancy formidable, and frank, she would pronounce the proverbs at will. I am shocked to find how many of the proverbs she knew that I remember having heard as daily fare. Something would happen, she’d walk by, and in rapid-fire French express a proverb in response. I knew something special, something different had just been said. I would stop what I was doing, and demand an explanation, a translation, because even though I understood French completely—no need for translation for most things said—here was a language unfamiliar to me. Sometimes she’d try to translate or explain, but mostly she’d say, “Oh, it’s just one of those old sayings they always used.” And here she was repeating it to me out of her memory.

Who used to say this? “Oh, les vieux.” How old were the vieux et vieilles? I don’t know. All I know is that the proverbs lived in her, came to me, and I recognize them by sounds once spoken to me, and they prompted the visuals to match my own interpretation of them in the collages.

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Rhea Côté Robbins, Bien faire, et laisser dire, collage, 10 x 13 in.

For her, it was mostly unconscious and for me the unknown, and for the future, possibly, the unsaid of this secret language. This is my version of bringing these daily sayings into the present-day consciousness, out of the unsaid, for those unknown to so many—both the French and the English.

A proverb, or saying, pronounces a final word or explanation, an understanding which gives insight into the situations of the world. It provides a way of ordering life-holding authority or sway over the uncontrollable so that it becomes controllable. Proverbs are like pagan spiritual praying in coexistence with the creator. They are much unknown due to the mystery of their origins and how they go across cultures world-wide.

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Rhea Côté Robbins, Mains froides, cœur chaud, collage, 10 x 14 in.

I want to know how she “knew” the proverbs as told to her by the old folks: the actual knowing of something to have it be your own; the instant of transmission of the so-called “folk knowledge.” The textbook explanation is an intellectual exercise, whereas for me to come to understand the role of the proverbs, I believe the door to pass through has more to do with emotions and the unconscious, to arrive at a shared knowledge. It is something different from formal knowledge which is helpful to explain other kinds of knowing. Not that maman was unique, but just the opposite. The proverbs were ubiquitous and understood by many. The point of exchange is un(self)conscious understood culture transference. So here is the doorway to the shared known.

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Rhea Côté Robbins, C’est tombé du ciel, collage, 10.5 x 13.5 in.

Where have the proverbs gone from our lives? They played a part in the daily fare of maman’s life and they have been replaced. But by what? I’m interested in why I do not know these proverbs at the same level as my maman, except for a few, but I don’t say them on a daily basis as she did. I recognize them when I see them, but I don’t hear them as I once did. Where do these artifacts of the cultures go when they become rare? Not part of the conscious processes, they are unsaid and therefore possibly unknown?

This artwork is not simply an exercise in nostalgia, but how I choose to reclaim for myself the proverbs, and to give meaning to them as I see them—part of the everyday magic of life. This is the power of words—in French and English—to address the shared unconsciousness of wisdom that passes between us.


Martha Maloney
Maloney 1 IndigenousHeat

Martha Maloney, Indigenous Heat, soft pastels, 14 x 11 in.

I realize in thinking about the unconscious, its dark recesses, dreams, shadows, the undersensed, that I use language and have practices that get me to its tipping point. Movement, meditation, and proprioceptive writing allow for unconscious exploration. My work in the field of addiction requires openness to sit with the repressed, the unsaid, and to explore what is difficult to open to change. All of this helps me palpate the unconscious in my artwork.

Maloney 2 Serenity

Martha Maloney, Serenity, soft pastels, 9 x 11 in.

In the pastels, polarization shows up as the light begets dark, the smooth brings up the rough, beauty the stark. Often, I’m compelled to alter symmetry, create imbalance, or bring chaos to order. Compelling in my process can be the urge to deconstruct, shock, or layer over to bring up the unexpected—the urge to take a risk over careful intent.

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Martha Maloney, Pastel Mash Up, soft pastels, 11 x 14 in.

This past year I have returned to pastel work with a passion. I would describe it as an expression of pure energy. Before beginning a piece, I try to empty out or clear mentally and emotionally. I sometimes start by stressing the paper with awls randomly to help deal with blank paper, and then when bringing in color it is influenced by the white lines from these marks. This unconscious start brings in some kind of energy and away I go. Eye-hand coordination with color choice seems immediate, bold, and gut-driven. This process prompts curiosity and is a freedom I hadn’t experienced in my art before. On a good day it feels like a bottom-up process, like jazz.

Maloney 4 BeeWell

Martha Maloney, Bee Well, soft pastels, 11 x 14 in.






Image at top: Nancy Coyne, Mother’s Eyes, acrylic, 12 x 8 in.