Best known for her watercolors, Nora has spent time painting on location all over the U.S. from rural and coastal Maine, to the forests of Pennsylvania, the Amish Farms of Ohio, to Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico, as well as abroad in S. E. Asia and Belize, Central America. This broad experience has helped to shape her bold fresh watercolors and oils of natural landscapes, florals, and fish.
Nora Bushong Larimer, currently living in Buena Vista, CO grew up in a farming community in Illinois. Nora studied at Illinois State University and Principia College and graduated with a B.A. in studio art in 1975. Since then, she has added extensive coursework to her experience, including print-making and graduate level courses in drawing, painting, and art history. A professional artist since 1976, she has also had her own custom framing business since 1981. She has taught watercolor classes on location and from her various studio-galleries for 30 years, in addition to being a watercolor and oil painting instructor at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL. Nationally recognized, Nora has won numerous awards at juried shows and festivals throughout the U.S. Some highlights include:
Signature member of Texas Watercolor Society
Signature member of the Missouri Watercolor Society
2008- Best in show for the Plein Air Festival, CMPAF, Colorado
2009- A 1st place award during “paint-out” at 2nd annual Plein Air Festival, CMPAF, Colorado
2009- Best of show and 1st place for the AVAC awards show, Buena Vista, CO
2006-2010 A reproduction of one of her floral pieces included in 1800 Home Depot stores as a window covering
2010- Included in The Best of American Watermedia put out by Kennedy Publishing
2011-Three trout paintings selected by Patagonia, Inc to be on shirts for their 2011 line
2011- 1st place awards in Watercolor and Oil painting, AVAC Awards Show, Buena Vista, CO
2012- 2014 Nora's trout paintings published 3 times in Gray's Sporting Journal, including the cover
2012- 2nd place for 5th Annual Colorado Mountain Plein Air Festival
Nora is represented by her own Rock Run Gallery, Buena Vista, CO; Squash Blossom, Colorado Springs, CO; Cogswell Gallery, Vail, CO; and Adelante! Gallery, Ashland, OR.
While painting, my goal is to depict the essence of an idea but not to copy it. Strong color is used, too, and sometimes those colors are not realistic to the viewer not willing to stretch his imagination. My hope is to help the viewer to see the world around him/her with “new eyes” - to see purple in the water and trees, for instance, when they normally wouldn’t; to connect to their surroundings in a new way or to visually go somewhere new. Sometimes, though, it takes them someplace old by stirring up a memory. While my flowers are painted after careful drawing and planning, the landscapes and fish are done with a more direct and spontaneous energy. I find there’s nothing like painting on location to get this creativity flowing, and it’s not uncommon for several hours to pass by and I’m still feeling the excitement of immerng myself in my environment through the medium of applying paint to paper or canvas.