About the Artist

Nicole's devotion to art and creativity started during early childhood.  She was fortunate to attend an elementary school with a strong art program which provided a solid foundation for artistic knowledge and experience.  Her scholastic creativity continued to develop, culminating in a BFA from Franklin and Marshall College.  She took a few years off from her creative aspirations to attend law school, but found her passion for art only grew stronger.

After three years of practicing law, Nicole gave up her legal career to pursue a more focused painting regime.  She rented a small studio in the Fan district of Richmond, Virginia, and devoted nights and weekends to her creative endeavors.  She continues to reside in Richmond, now with a studio on site at her house where she spends many hours focusing on oil and acrylic painting, and glass fusing.

Nicole's Techniques & Methods

Nicole has expanded the visual aspect of painting into a tactile experience and has several unique styles she invented.  The first is "tactile orbs."  Using a combination of brushes, she puts down the first layer of paint to create the shape of each orb.  Then she blends and builds layer upon layer of paint to establish the complex dimension of each orb.  The paint actually sits like a mountain on top of the canvas.  After waiting until the layers have started to dry, she goes into the paint once more with the dark and light shading, pulling up on the sticky paint to create the tactile orb.  The orbs themselves represent celestial objects.  The idea is to make them feel gritty like an object in space would feel.  Close your eyes and touch it.

"Color evokes emotion.  My goal is to use color to create an emotional response so intense that for a moment all else is forgotten."

Nicole's second technique innovation is called "star-spray."  Glass grinding requires water to keep the grinder bit wet.  If the grinder is not enclosed, the wet bit sends out a cascade of sprayed glass as it grinds.  Nicole places her painting in proximity to the spray to allow for a build up of glass on the canvas.  This creates a one-of-a-kind speckling on the canvas in the color of the glass.

The "Treehouse" Studio

At Nicole's home is an eccentric little structure built on a ledge, putting its occupants at eye-level with the limbs of the trees growing in the gully below.  Double French doors hang on opposite walls, allowing a breeze to blow through the cabin as she creates.  The openness of this workspace suits her personality and artistic philosophy, affording visits from leaves, flower petals, sunlight and butterflies (or one of her many canine or human friends).

"Our current environment bombards our eyes and ears with images and noise. We humans have succeeded in overwhelming ourselves with ourselves. As a result, we fail to really look at things, seldom shocked with horror or awe. We just go, go, go."

"In my studio, time stands still.  I hope to pass that stillness to others through my work, leaving them with moments of awe so rarely found in life's chaos."


Copyright © 2011 Nicole Alexis Mones

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