Hello, my name is Nicki and I am a graphic designer that loves to paint. I love to experiment with the use of geometry and highly saturated colors in my work. I am looking forward to future experiences and experimentations that I will encounter in my future art classes and I am always ready for new projects that challenge my skills and creativity.
I am finally writing about my abstact cloud series, yay! This post is extra special to me since some of my favorite cloud paintings were put up in my own solo show at my school. I am so happy that I finally got a show up in the student gallery on campus to show off just a part of what I have done in the begining of my art carrer.
In this series, I experimented with cloud abstraction painting. This series started in the summer of 2017 and was inspired by the many cloudy and raining days in June. The series started off as a random idea to put colors in white fluffy clouds, which then turned to be a lovely obsession. This body of work has gone through many changes as time has gone on. It first started as a relatively pastel series, which quickly transitioned into a very high contrast and lose work. It also went through a period where I used my left hand to paint after I had shoulder surgery. “Head in the Clouds” shows only a part of the many paintings that I have created and have helped me grow as an artist.
I have included some pictures of my pieces in the show! Hope you enjoy!
This summer, I was able to figure out a space that I am able to paint in. We have an old barn that I persuaded my family into keeping and turned the straw loft into my own art studio space! I am so lucky that I have a family that supports me, as an aspiring artist, and able to help make my dream a reality.
I am back to school now and my summer studio was a success! I was able to make some really great pieces and experiment with my work. Having my own studio space in the summer was a great experience for me and has helped me increase the number of paintings that I have.
Transforming this nearly 100-year-old barn took some work but it was a lot of fun! My studio was situated in the old straw loft. So we cleaned out all of the old straw and vacuumed some of the remaining dust. My Grandpa and uncle put up a studio light and made an extra window to allow some more natural light to the space. Then we slowly added some more furniture to the studio. I got my grandparent’s old kitchen table up there and a spray booth to store my wet paintings to keep them safe from dust and bird feathers. The barn also recently got a new roof a few weeks ago and now I won’t have to worry about any leaks for a long time.
It was so nice having my own little art retreat place to go to. Especially this summer because it was so wet and rainy in the beginning. I would spend hours at a time painting away. This summer I started my cloud abstraction series. I really like where my abstraction series is going and I plan on continuing it during the school year. I really want to explore this cloud obsession and use of very painterly technique that I have recently gravitated towards to see how far it can be developed. I plan on explaining more about my cloud paintings that I did this summer in the next post! So stay tuned for that!! I also will be talking about some of the projects that I am currently doing in my art classes this semester. So until then enjoy some images from my summer barn studio experience!!
I created this piece for my contemporary art history class. It was a super fun project and I was able to look at a lot of work by Lynda Benglis. I included my artist statement too! Hope you enjoy!
For my creative research project, I decided to design a piece of work inspired in the style of Lynda Benglis. When I first saw her sculptural painting work I fell in love with it right away, and her high-saturated color pallet is the same kind of pallet that I enjoy using in my own artwork. Her work that really inspired me was the piece that relied on these organic naturally occurring shapes; that happened when she poured her paint on the floor. So I thought it would be perfect to use her as my inspiration and motivation.My intention for this painting was to rely heavily on the use of natural pattern, texture, and color. So, I created a black background that I taped off with painters’ tape, to enhance the bright neon colors even more, and to give this distorted floor tile feel to the piece. The tape lines also gave the painting a nice background texture that helped keep the painting from looking too flat. I made the paint different constancies to make more texture when the paint would drip and create a more
My intention for this painting was to rely heavily on the use of natural pattern, texture, and color. So, I created a black background that I taped off with painters’ tape, to enhance the bright neon colors even more, and to give this distorted floor tile feel to the piece. The tape lines also gave the painting a nice background texture that helped keep the painting from looking too flat. I made the paint different constancies to make more texture when the paint would drip and create a more three-dimensional piece.
The motivation for this piece was to have fun. I really wanted this piece to be super bright, obnoxious, and in your face. I wanted it to be in that style and mindset, so it would be like the bold women Lynda Benglis herself.
It was so great to experiment with where I poured the paint onto the canvas and how it interacted with the other paint on the canvas. Doing this painting gave me a sense of confidence since it was abstraction. I feel at times it is hard to know what to do with an abstraction piece; like what to do next and when to stop adding to it so it doesn’t become overworked. I feel now that I have gained more experience I will have more confidence to create additional abstract pieces in my future works.
For the final part of my series, I decided to go back to the first series style that I created. However, this time I created one large canvas instead of 3 smaller ones. Like for the first part of the series, I used an image that I took myself, of the sky at dusk. I loved this image and the minute I took the picture I knew I wanted to include it in part of my series.
To start with this project, I painted the abstract background first before taping anything off. I tried to stay as accurate as possible with the colors and the composition of the piece. After finishing the background, I needed to let the oil paint dry for a few days. Since I used light colors and the days were more humid my painting took more than three days to dry. Once the background was dry I was able to apply the tape. I like applying several pieces of tape, so there are options and ideas where I want the shapes to be and see how they will look before filling them in.
I used a lot of tape and removed a lot of it to create the several shapes that my picture ended up with. I like to give myself a lot of taping options so I have an easier time visualizing what the final project will look like. Even though the paint was dry, the tape in some places had a hard time sticking, which was a little bit frustrating, but worked out in the end. Now, with everything taped off I needed to decide on colors that I wanted to use for the overlaying shapes. After hearing the feedback from my classmates about the color choices that I should do for the shapes I decided to go with black and white. I loved this decision and I feel that it really made my piece stand out and give it another sense of dimension. This was such an elaborate and big scale project to work with, I plan on doing more paintings like this one in the near future! I also found it fun to see how my series developed over the span of this project. This piece is definitely one of my most minimalistic pieces that I have created over the course of this semester. I think what makes this minimal piece work is the large scale that I used.
For the creation of this entire series project, I got my inspiration from Keltie Ferris and Charley Harper. Both of these artists have high-saturated pallets and interesting compositions that deal with contrast and movement.
For this specific project I specifically chose the inspiration from Charley Harper. He is a painter that created a lot of geometric bird and animal paintings. Harper was very fond of color and explained how he defined the Grand Canyon based off the different layers of color and how he liked both bold and subtle colors. So, for part two of my project I decided to create these abstracted tropical birds of paradise by using high saturated colors for their feathers and a grey scale background to help make each bird pop. I taped off each canvas into sections in order to continue my taping off process and connect all of the birds together.
I did each bird separately and really focused on the importance of portraying movement and dimension in these birds to bring them to life. In Harper’s work, I find that he is really able to capture the animals in such an amazing recognizable way by using only curved and straight lines, it is incredible. From his paintings, you really can get a feel of what the animals’ behavior is like. To help with this I used looser brushstrokes throughout the painting. Just like in Harper’s work I wanted to give the birds a good sense of character.
After the in-process critique, I decided to add the color coordinated highlights for the beaks and also to the eyes. I was planning on adding the white highlight to the eyes; however, I wasn’t originally going to change the highlights I had done on the beaks. I was ok with the beak change in the purple and blue birds, but at first I didn’t know how to feel about the yellow bird, but this change also grew on me.
Overall the process was super fun, and it was great to see some of the sketches and doodles that I have created come to life. I love how the piece, “Birds of Paradise”, turned out.
For my final series project, I decided to make paintings that had to do with abstraction and the use of painters tape. For the first part of my project, I created three abstract paintings of landscape images that I have taken while flying in an airplane.
I enjoyed these specific images because of the high contrast that occurred in them. I remember looking out the window and seeing this incredible view, so I quickly snapped some pictures. Usually, every time I fly and have a window seat I take a picture of the ground below. I think it is because I love flying so much and the sense of freedom and bliss I get every time I fly.
When starting sky 1 image I followed the sky pretty close and made it close to realistic. I tried taping off the light areas with tape. However, while finishing the piece I didn’t like how the sky and ground with the city lights were painted in two completely different styles, I was trying to get a big contrast however, it was too much of a contrast for this piece to work together as one composition. I left the piece the way it was for a couple days and went on to the sky 2 image. Once I finished Sky 2 I restarted on Sky 1 and taped the painting off and created triangles and other geometric shapes to help relate it to the series.
I had a completely different approach with the second sky image. I decided not to go realistic, but instead, use all abstract in the entire image. I added one round area that mimics the single star in sky 2, but I made it larger so it kind of resembles the moon.
For Sky 3 I chose to combine the two styles of the realistic and abstract, to help bring this group of paintings together. Since I enjoy the sky in the first image I mimicked it in a few sections of the sky for this last painting. It was a little challenging because the sky was really dark in the third picture, but I managed to make it work. I also added more circles in this piece to include more points of interest and contrast.
I am glad how this section of my series worked out. I was worried that the compositions would not fit together. My biggest concern was with the sky 1 image because of they sky, but once I hung them all up on the wall next to one another I was very happy with the completed project.