Welcome to Week 21 of Paint Party Friday (Year 2) and to the next edition of our Featured Artist Series! (Would you like to be a PPF Featured Artist? Please click here for details!) This week's featured artist has been pleasing us with her pawsitively precious pointillist paintings since week 1. Please welcome Nicola from Pointy Pix!
1. Please tell us a bit about your personal history with painting. (When did you start painting? How has your painting evolved since you first started?) I've always loved painting and drawing – one of my earliest photos was taken when mum discovered three year old me drawing all over one of my older sister’s story books! I can remember drawing Disney characters when I was really young and then when I was about 14 my dad letting me paint a mural of Pierrot the sad clown on my bedroom wall (he was very popular on bedroom accessories in the 80s!) I studied art at school right up to A’level (exams we take at 18 - I’m not sure what the equivalent is in American/Australian schools). Although I didn’t go on to do anything remotely creative in my work life, I did return to painting and drawing from time to time over the years, selling watercolour landscapes to tourists in Tunisia when I worked there as a holiday rep and using my artistic skills to brighten up my hotel notice board. I even painted a Christmas scene on a hotel window one year! I was asked to do a few caricatures as wedding presents a few years ago and then two years ago my office manager at the time asked me to do a portrait of her dog. She fully encouraged me to follow my dream of turning my hobby into a career. That's when I set up my blog detailing my journey back to art. I’m not there yet but it’s been a very interesting couple of years!
2. What are your favorite techniques, media, and tools to use in creating your paintings? My favourite technique is pointillism – hence the name of my blog. I started off using mainly Indian ink on watercolour paper in a stippling technique (millions of tiny dots like newspaper print) with a very fine nib ink pen or Sakura Micron pens (which cut out the risk of the ink ‘blobbing’!) In the last year I’ve been moving away from ink and falling more in love with acrylics after my husband bought me a set and, on trying them out, I realised that I can paint over any bits I’m not happy with – much more forgiving than watercolour which I do still use but mainly for more illustrative designs, such as my doodimals (doodle animals). I use a pointillism technique with acrylics too in that I apply the paint in little dots as I like the texture it gives to the canvas, although quite often I imagine that my paintings look better if you stand back and squint than if you look at them close up!
3. What is your favorite thing to paint? Why? I would have to say that the natural world is my muse. I am hugely passionate about all the critters we share the earth with and big into animal welfare so animals feature heavily in most of my artwork, whether serious or whimsical. I started off doing commissioned companion animal portraits and still do these whenever I get asked but have been working on a series entitled ‘windows to the soul’ based on the depth of emotion and intelligence in an animals’ eyes. I discovered a quote recently which sums it up perfectly – ‘Animals’ eyes have the power to speak a great language’ Martin Buber. As well as animals I love how nature can take something manmade and ugly and sprinkle a little magic on it - even rain (of which we have more than our fair share in Ireland) can work its magic when you look at an otherwise boring street scene through the twinkly blur of a rain-streaked window! I’m working on a series of rainy window scenes and am really enjoying the challenge of making the rain drops look like rain drops (I'm more impressionist than photo-realist!) while still using my pointillism technique where possible.
4. What is your proudest painting moment and/or greatest painting achievement so far? I recently won an online art competition run by Art of Crafts via Pinterest with my Giraffiti doodimal – this was definitely thanks to the wonderful online creative friends I’ve met via Paint Party Friday and Summer of Colour who voted for my painting to win. I was really proud of that. I also sold a painting of an owl's eyes recently and the buyer asked that I give her first refusal on any other animal paintings I do in the future – that’s a wonderful feeling!
5. What's next in your painting future? I’ve been getting braver and contacting more people and companies in the art world with regard to my work. I plan to keep on building a body of work and then I want to approach galleries with a view to representing me or allowing me to exhibit. I am working on developing a thick skin for the, no doubt, many times when I’m not successful and keeping a positive attitude that, if I knock on enough arty doors, then someday I will be a professional artist!
Thank You Nicola! - We wish you the very best in achieving that professional art career! To learn even more about Nicola, please visit her at:
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What a great party last week! Now, here is our check-in for this week's party:
As always, please make sure to use your post URL address NOT your blog home page URL address as there are many late visitors who get confused as to which post is for PPF when they arrive (after Friday) at your website. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Linky, an explanation of how this tool works can be found on Week 1 and Week 2 Check-Ins.
Have a wonderfully creative week!