hile Lily Tomlin plays the eccentric, free-spirited artist, Frankie, on Netflix’s hit comedy series, Grace and Frankie, it’s artist Nancy Rosen who created most of the character’s work. The spotlight has attracted legions of new fans, and Rosen is making more of her vibrant, kinetic portraits than ever before. “It’s like spinning a spider web in that I can do it over and over again,” Rosen explains. “It keeps coming and coming, and I see no end to it.”
We caught up with the artist to learn about her creative process, inspiration and more.
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Lily Tomlin. I feel so bizarrely connected to her because of Frankie on the show Grace and Frankie.
What have you enjoyed most about this moment in the spotlight?
I’ve been making art since I was 5 years old, so my favorite thing about this time is getting to share it with the world.
How do you get your creative juices flowing?
I love people, and I’m always observing them and their interactions. Put me in the airport by myself for a five-hour layover, and I’m over the moon.
If you were given $20,000, how would you spend it?
Ever since I laid eyes on the full set of the large R&F Pigment sticks, I have fantasized about getting the whole set.
What’s the story behind the best gift you’ve ever received?
When I was going to start drawing again, my husband, David, gave me a key and took me to my new studio that he had picked out and rented for me for a year.
The artists that give me butterflies are . . .
Balthus, Euan Uglow and the drawings of Frank Auerbach.
PHOTOS: JORGE GERA
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