For artist Nicole Smith, color is the reason and color is what’s on the gallery walls at White Mountain Library until the end of March. The exhibit moves to Sweetwater County Library in April. Her artist statement is titled “Nicole Smith Plays with Color and Art”. She says, “I enjoyed learning and later incorporating the different color harmonies, color blending and a great understanding of color. I started to understand how to push color and exaggerate it. And how to completely ignore the color that was present and use whatever color I chose and make it believable.”
The eighteen pieces in the exhibit represent a variety of media including oil on canvas, ink on paper, watercolor on hot press, acrylic on canvas, watercolor on cold press. Smith says there is whatever meaning you want to put into the works. She created them as fun pieces that she hopes delight and brings a smile to people. She believes that art is often “over analyzed”. She created these because I liked the process of creating and the challenges of making a painting work.”
Smith briefly describes the paintings in the exhibit in a separate handout. About “Spineless” she says, “I really enjoy breaking up an image. I like the hard lines of the box edges that contrast the softness of the images. The title was picked because it was supposed to feature three spineless things, a flower, a bug and a squid. But I got the flower done and it looked too pretty to put a squid with so I chickened out and went with all flowers but kept the name.”
About another painting titled “1927” she says, “This is one of my personal favorites for sentimental reasons. My father will not part with his 1927 Model T which he and I rebuilt from scratch and I will not part with my painting.” The painting is a triptych, three separate paintings of one image.
In contrast to her large, dramatic oil on canvas paintings on the East wall of the gallery, Smith has included watercolors and ink paintings on the South wall. “Red Lily” is a blend of tiny little colors which remind the viewer of 19th century French painter Georges Pierre Seurat. She says Seurat was not really her inspiration. She was trying to figure out a way to “blend my pen colors, first experimenting with what I could do with pens, then pushing the colors forward.” Another painting is titled “”Wicked Sick Fuzzy Death” which she says is not meant to be so dark, deadly or serious. She picked the images for their colors and nothing more. It is also the reason for such a silly name.
Smith is a Green River native and “will always be a Wyoming girl”. She graduated from Green River High School with a strong background and interest in art. From there she earned her Associates of Art degree with an emphasis in art from Northwest College in Powell. After two years she transferred to the University of Wyoming to complete a degree in history. She spent another year at UW and completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2005.
Her years at UW encouraged her to experiment more and work independently which came in handy when she spent her last semester in Hull, England. She spent a lot of time traveling around Europe and acquired great inspiration from that experience. She returned to the States with a new degree and without employment. She moved to Portland, Oregon to seek her fortunes. She’s currently employed as a drafter for a Geo-tech company there. A program accompanies the exhibit along with a description of the art. (clik4)