July - September, 2018: A selection of my artwork is now available for the summer season at Evrgreen, a charming coffee shop in the townsite of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park!

Representation: I am honoured to have my work represented by these well-respected professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street- a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rain Is Coming

Rain Is Coming
oil on paper

I went to the studio this afternoon and decided to create another cloud painting- it was just too fun last week and luckily it was fun again today. Now that I have uploaded this image I realize that it is likely a bit darker than in real life. The land at the bottom actually has more dark green to it. Here it looks quite black. Anyhoo, I like how it looks. I like the stormy moodiness of it. I am finding it a smidge of a challenge to work with such a limited palette; 12 oil colours including Titanium white. I have to start somewhere though, right? I was poking around online and found a great sale on a brand called "Shiva Signature Oil Paint" that has been around for a really long time. If anyone knows anything about them please leave me a comment- as good as the deal sounds, it won't be a good deal if they are low quality. 

I've been thinking about the way I paint, especially since I have been playing with oils. When the artists at the studio saw my the sky/clouds I painted last week they offered positive feedback and then made a comment that they kind of reminded them of Degen's work (her gallery link is "not found"). Of course I took that as a compliment, but I got worried that maybe it seemed like I was copying. I took a step back and contemplated. My final judgment was that, in fact, these skies were very different than the kind she would paint, but maybe my handling of the paint had been influenced by her. Some parts of the clouds were painted without much mixing and that is something she would do. When you admire work of other artists I think you can really learn by studying their techniques, their colour choices, the way they set up their compositions, and then use what you've learned when you go to paint your interpretation of the world. I find the idea of creating a mood or atmosphere in clouds by using unexpected colours quite fascinating. I am a huge admirer of a local artist named Greg Hardy. Now here is someone with a real point of view. The scale of his work is impressive and I can't get enough of how he expresses and interprets his subjects. Click here to view his portfolio of recent exhibitions... especially take the time to click on the Michael Gibson Gallery and the Nicholas Metivier Gallery to see Mr. Hardy's skies and clouds. They are breathtaking and like none other.

I feel like with every piece of art I am drawn to, I am gathering information, I am making mental notes, I am absorbing. Maybe I am all the art I have ever admired. Maybe this next stage of my life is going to be me taking this internalized knowledge and letting it out on canvas. In my own way. Finding my own point of view.


Anonymous said...

hey Nicki these cloud paintings you have been doing all create a unique mood, an atmosphere. as for copying, we are all nurtured by other artists:)

-Don said...

I appreciate that you stepped back to get a sense as to your intent with your work. Now you KNOW you're not copying and you can move forward with confidence that you have absorbed another artist's influence and are now putting out work that is your own personal interpretation.

I don't know how you work with 12 colors at once. I have not used more than 5 colors on any given painting in years. Any more than that would confuse me, I think...

Great painting!


JRonson said...

one more time the beautiful clouds :b it's amazing the way that u do it, i have to try this ;D contragts

Nicki said...

Hi Rahina,

Thanks I'm glad you feel they are conveying a mood and atmosphere. It is true, we all learn and grow from those that came before and those that are working around us in the present day.

Hope you are well,

Hi Don,

Yes, I am confident I am not copying and I am sure the artists were not implying that I was, but it did make me want to step back and analyze what they saw. I realized, too, that it's not just me, I see influences when I look at other artists work. It's quite fascinating really.

Ha! Yes, I do feel limited by my 12 oil colours, but it is a good exercise. And have you ever seen the YouTube video of Karin Jurick laying out her palette? Now there is a selection of colours! :o)

Nice to hear from you,

Hi J,

Wow what a huge compliment! Thanks so much. Have fun with it! And thanks for swinging by to check out my blog again,


Tammy Hext said...

Hi Nicki
These cloud paintings are turning into a great little series. I love the atmosphere in each one. Thanks for posting the link to Greg Hardy - I had not seen his work before.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Nicki,

I am absolutely sure that we learn from everyone whose work we see. The Group of Seven painted clouds, Cezanne painted clouds, Edward B. Gordon paints clouds. But none of these artists paints your clouds. Only you paint like you. Of course the visual work of others goes into us, so does the entire visual world and that's okay. I love your work. It's entirely individual -- yours. I admired that from your very first blog. And this painting like every other one you've done is a beauty.

XO Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Tammy,

Thanks... yes, I think I might do a series of these little skies. I have a bit of an idea for a show... we'll see.

I'm glad you liked the link to Greg Hardy. I've seen a few of his paintings in person and they are fantastic.


Hi Barbara,

You really are good for my self esteem! Thanks... and I am glad you believe my clouds are unique and original to me. After my moment of deliberation, I think so too.


Edward B. Gordon said...

fantastic painting Nicki !!!

Nicki said...

Hi Edward,

Wow, it means a great deal that one of my paintings appealed to you. I gave this piece to my sister for her 40th birthday and now I am glad it is still in the family!

All the best,