I work in dry pastels, printmaking, sculpture, and multimedia. I was born in Germany, and grew up in the USA and Japan before my father retired from the US Air Force. I experienced much in my life. I’m married to my third husband Jim Whitney, and I have a daughter with developmental delays and four adult bonus children from my husband’s first marriage.
I enjoy creating both realistic and impressionistic works of art. While I am working in my studio, I tend to loose all concept of time. I use photographs that I have taken as references for many of my projects, while my sculptures tend to be strictly from my imagination. A friend from high school, Loren Morelli, of Sonoma County, California, has been kind enough to allow me to use some of his photographs as references for some of my paintings, as well as my husband Jim and one of my old college roommates, Carolyn Mabarak.
I am inspired by cloud formations, and how they can impact the scene. I take photos while my Jim is driving, and marvel at the changes that can occur as we drive just a few miles. Recently, we have been surprised to find out that some of the most beautiful cloud formations are spawning tornadoes in their upper elevations.
I enjoy depicting the same scene in different ways; sometimes reversing a favorite barn, or changing its colors.
We have traveled to Clearwater, Florida several times in the last several years. I enjoy taking photographs of the beaches there as well as the countryside between Nebraska and Florida. I frequently paint my small paintings while my husband is driving the car. Since my artist apron tends to catch a lot of the dust from my paintings, when we make a stop at a gas station or rest area and I use a lot of reds in some of my paintings, I get some interesting looks!
Creativity is a passion of mine and having worked with individuals with disabilities, I’m confident that determination is a key factor in a person’s artistic ability.
Nita Whitney was born in Germany to American parents, and spent her first birthday aboard ship coming to the US. She lived in Colorado, Japan, Massachusetts and California before she was 12 years of age. She has always loved to draw and paint, mostly horses. Her aspirations in high school were to be a rider on the US Olympic team and be an equine artist. Instead the family moved again, this time to Texas, and Nita attended Texas State University, majoring in agriculture.
She met and married a Texas cowboy, Rick Orsack, and they had a daughter, Beckie, who has developmental delays. After divorcing Rick, Nita and Beckie moved to St. Louis, Missouri where Beckie was able to get a better education. She married Randall Schilling and they divorced when Beckie graduated high school. It was during that period when Nita started painting in watercolor and was juried into the St. Louis watercolor society as well as the best of Missouri hands. After divorcing Randall, Nita married the love of her life, Jim Whitney. Nita and Jim had met in high school, but life took them down different paths for over 40 years. Nita and Jim later moved to Alabama and then to Nebraska, where Jim works in the nuclear power industry as an engineer. Nita attended Peru State College in Nebraska, and obtained her degree in art. Shortly afterward, she fell on ice and had a serious head injury that nearly took her life. It took several years for her to return to creativity. It was while visiting with Artist, Rich Hayek in Brownville Nebraska, in July 2022, that Nita picked up dry pastels for the first time. At Rich’s encouragement, Nita produced her first small, dry pastel painting. It was like her voice came alive again, and she’s been at it ever since.