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!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's All Abstract

These images are details; I haven't shown you the paintings yet. They are sections taken from the four other plein air paintings I did at Waskesiu a couple of weeks ago. The details relate to a conversation we had in the Abstract Expressionism class back in August. It was a conversation that not only validated some of my own thoughts, but actually clarified my thoughts which were, up until then, rather incoherent in my own head. :)

The instructor, Alicia Popoff, is a very accomplished and well respected abstract artist, but she absolutely wanted everyone in the class to create the work that they wanted to create. Although the class was focused on Abstract Expressionism, she wanted to be clear that if we were more comfortable with a representational approach, then we were welcome to work that way. She didn't want us to feel bound to abstraction. Now here is where I felt like standing up and hugging her... she said that in reality, to a greater or lesser degree, ALL painting is abstract!!! Whaaaaa???!!! Lightbulbs!!!

She said that as soon as you take something that is three dimensional in life and reproduce it in two dimensions that it is automatically abstract. Even if the work is representational. Even if. WOW. Now obviously there is a huge, huge difference between Christopher Stott's photorealistic work being abstract and Jeane Myers' expressive work being abstract, I get that, but still- I loved this statement!

As I mentioned, I have had similar, incoherent thoughts in my head regarding my own art, so to hear a real, live, professional artist say this! Well, it was a huge moment for me! HUGE!

Yes, I am a representational artist, but I have often felt that when I break my work down what you have is a bunch of abstract marks that add up to create the story of the landscape. And that is what these details are... abstract glimpses of paintings... finished paintings that hold the full story of what I saw and felt when I was on the beach for those days in September. And they are kinda abstract!


Barbara Muir said...

Love the glimpses and the thoughts. So true. In fact it's hard to paint anything until you see the shapes, the form. That + emotion gives art its punch. The emotion part is much harder to explain, or even understand. But here it is. I love your work.

XO Barbara

ljr said...

i like what you do

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

What a great comment, thank you. I agree with the whole emotion element of a painting that sometimes comes through... and you are right about it being hard to explain or understand. Hmmm, you've got me thinking.

I love your work! Pure joy.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving weekend!

Nicki XO

XO Nicki

Nicki said...

Thank you ljr!

Monika Kinner-Whalen (MySweetPrairie) said...

That was a GOOD read for me. Often I overhear artists go 'bleeeeeeeeeah' over landscape art. Like it's boring, or not art. That is so not true. I love your conclusions - thank you for sharing Nicki. It's something I've been pondering and trying to make sense of myself.
: )

ps - you heard Colors is closing this weekend?? big sale FYI


Nicki said...

Hi Monika,

Thank you for saying all of that. Yes, I hear you about the attitude regarding landscape as a subject. It's very frustrating and ridiculous. I'm happy I wrote about my thoughts if it helped you process yours.

The thing about landscapes is that they can be so powerful in evoking a memory or response to a time or place that was special to the viewer. They can be nostalgic or bring up emotions that are very personal... just as any subject has the potential of doing. Your beautiful art does this and then some.

Yes, I just heard about Colors- too bad. I'll maybe try to go.