Judy NefF

My art tends to center on Western Montana’s native landscapes, plants, and animals.  Those are things I loved while growing up in Missoula, and when I paint them, I feel like I’m spending time getting to know them better.  I mostly work in pastels because it's possible to get such an interesting range of color effects, and have recently started exploring oils.  Currently, my husband and I live in Spokane, WA and spend summers with family on Flathead Lake.

My interest in art started early, maybe when my dad showed me how to draw a box with a shadow. I thought it was fascinating that a few lines in the right places would create a 3-D illusion.  Then, sometime around the age of 11, I became obsessed with horses.  Since I didn’t have one I made lots of drawings of them, until eventually, my family adopted two horses.   During high school, I took as many art classes as I could and then spent four years at the University of Montana studying to be a high school art teacher. Before graduating I took a break from college to work as a flight attendant and travel.  During layovers, I repeatedly visited the art museums in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago to learn about the work of great artists first hand.  When I finally returned to school, it was to complete a degree in landscape architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Landscape architecture seemed a perfect blend of making art and protecting native landscapes and wildlife habitat.  After graduation, I worked on several award-winning projects at architecture/landscape architecture firms in Seattle and Coeur d’ Alene and spent twelve years as an urban designer for the City of Spokane.

In 2017 I retired from the City of Spokane and am excited to now dedicate time to painting horses, animals and the places I love again.


© 2019 by The Sandpiper Art Gallery