I live in Ontario, Canada where the scenic views are just spectacular. Art is a very important factor in my life. I have a small studio/shop in my home where I love to spend most of my time right up to the early hours of the morning. I anticipate starting new projects and challenges… I thrive on deadlines & working under pressure sometimes…it’s a rush and I love it! I am always welcoming commissions from clients.
Q: What medium or mediums do you work with?
A: I work with a variety of mediums, with charcoal being my #1 for people/pet portraits. I do my landscapes with acrylic paints. I’ve recently started to dabble with soft pastels, which I find very enjoyable and relaxing.
Q: How long have you been an artist? How did you get started?
A: I have been drawing since childhood, but didn’t make a fuss over it…when you are young, you think it’s not a big deal and anyone can do this. I did my first pencil portrait at age 12, it was of Elton John, done from an 8 track tape cover… My parents were amazed by it and both encouraged me to do more, but I didn’t except for horse drawings, since they were my love at that age. Then in my late 20’s I got back into it slowly, and in my mid 30’s, decided to become a full time artist.
Q: Do you have any formal training or are you self taught?
A: I am self taught, but I have learned helpful tips & ideas from art books… Most is from learning by experimenting & trying different techniques to see what worked for me… Everyday is a learning process and a lot of my smaller works are unplanned & spontaneous.
Q: Do you have any favorite art supplies that you would like to recommend?
A: I do… For my portraits I absolutely love “General’s Charcoal” pencils…the 4B Soft and 2B Medium are my favorites. I love all paper as they have their use from different mediums & technique use…many types of paper as weight, tooth and colors make for interesting drawing sessions and all must be acid free. For my paintings…any acrylic paints or brushes are fine, but my surfaces are unique! I paint landscapes on leaves, rocks, seashells, along with canvas…There are not many items that I won’t paint on.
Q: Do you work with any specific styles or subject matter?
A: I guess you could say my style is realism…for the portrait area of my work… My subject matter ranges from people, pets, some wildlife and landscapes that often include sunsets.
Q: Can you recommend any books videos or other resources that will help new artists?
A: There are so many great art books, but a few that might help new artists are: “The Drawing Bible” by Craig Nelson…there’s a bit of everything in there… Anything by Jerry Yarnell, whether it be his books or videos… Bob Ross videos are also relaxing, inspiring and very enjoyable…You have to love that voice of his…memorable!
Q: How do you get ideas to create a piece? What inspires you?
A: Inspiration is brought on by many things. Rain is not only an inspiration for me but I find it very cleansing & motivating…it seems to get my creative juices flowing… My mood also triggers and reflects ideas and inspires my creativity.
Q: Are there any artists that have influenced you and why?
A: I am particularly taken by Robert Bateman’s work… I have the utmost admiration for his art as well as Mr. Bateman himself as an artist. I hold dearly and will forever treasure a personal letter & postcard he wrote to me a few years ago… I read it often for inspiration.
Q: Do you have a website you would like to share?
A: My website is : http://artbynicole.4t.com
Q: Finally do you have any last words of advice for beginner artists?
A: I would advise beginner artists not to be hesitant to dive right in and practice, practice, and do lots of it…through trial and error is how you will develop your own style & techniques. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, a simple sketch, doodle…it’s so important to draw everyday & practice!!!!