Growing up in Bismarck, North Dakota, Nicole was surrounded by handy family members who ranged from skilled woodworkers to expert seamstresses, all craftsmen in their own right.
She learned to value the handiwork and the process of creation. The hand crafted quality and aesthetic has remained important to me, and it is consistently a thread through her work. Energetic brush strokes and other evidence of my hand are not hidden, but embraced and celebrated. In both still life and landscape work she uses a vibrant, cheering color palette to enhance the small “snapshot” of the world and to elevate that moment’s emotional impact.
Nicole paints scenes from life and from the world around her. In warm months paints regional scenes in nature. This process teaches something new every time, and she is able to connect with the world around me through that constant exploration. With the change of the seasons Nicole will seek other sources of inspiration, often painting a still life with objects that remind her of childhood or with other positive associations. One subject that really has struck a chord is canned and pickled foods. On one level, they are just a beautiful, colorful object with delicious connotations. On another level they represent a lineage of planning for the future with age-old preservation methods that have been passed down through generations. Homemade food has comforting associations, so having a visual representation of saving those for a better future is an uplifting visual image.
Nicole’s work is always looking to the past to learn from it. At the same time, her work looks hopefully to the future with an overall positive and encouraging message. To see more about Nicole and her artwork please visit her website: http://nicolegagner.wix.com/artwork