ChicoScapes and The Valley
Since moving to Chico, CA in 2013, Nicolai has been exploring the area with a series of watercolors he calls ChicoScapes and some larger acrylic paintings. His latest acrylic is "Jewels of the Valley" a 5 x 7 foot commission for the Sutter County Museum, now on permanent exhibit in the main exhibit hall. He has also exhibited artworks at the Chico Art Center, monca, the Museum of Northern California, 1078 Gallery, Vagabond Rose, and Art Etc.
I went to Mexico for a two weeks painting excursion. We stayed in a retreat on the edge of the coastal jungle. My studio was outside in the forest and consisted of a table, a chair and a hammock. When I travel I like to paint with watercolors. They are portable, easy to set up, and all you add is water! Nearby there was a river flowing into the sea. It became a springboard for the work that was to come. Quietly painting outdoors provided the opportunity for nature to come to me. I could observe the sounds and colors of the foest, exotic birds and wildlife up close, undisturbed and undetected in the sanctuary of my plein-air studio. I worked 4-5 hours a day - every day until it was time to leave. Upon arriving back in California, I continued the series in my studio based on sketches done on location, utilizing the exact same palette. Only a few pieces in this series are still available - contact us for jpegs and prices.
Modern Goddesses and Archetypes of the New Millennium
'My recent work juxtaposes fashion models, burning appliances, statues and random imagery set in a landscape of the subconscious. My ideas are drawn from dreams, disjointed images of the subconscious and reflection from newspaper headlines. I want to provide the viewer with a sense of wonder, have them ask questions, and share some comic relief.
The dawn of the new millennium has brought wars, social disruptions, disasters and global warming and has provided artists such as myself more outrageous material to draw from. My work has been for me a form of therapy to process what’s going on in the world around us.
Remember, there is no substitute for color!' - Nicolai
These compositions become playful creative interludes between other
projects, commissions and more serious paintings (therapy, if you will.)
They are done completely by hand with no computer imaging. They help
work out compositional ideas.
Nicolais paintings are his personal expression of explorations
into nature and the cosmos. Infused with dream world imagery, his work
reminds us, often with humor, that the discovery of the sublime vista
brings us closer to the infinite.
California and Western European Landscapes
Landscapes inspired by travels through the
Western U.S., Mexico and Europe. Many of these paintings are done on
location - 'en plein air.' Geology and atmospheric phenomena are featured.
'Most of my paintings are done with acrylics on canvas or panels. I work out a detailed design before beginning a painting. Brush and airguns are my main method of applying paint to the surface. I also work in watercolor. My collages are done completely by hand with no computer imagery. They become playful creative interludes between larger projects.
Some of my design for large scale mural work also benefit from collage based compositions.' - Nicolai