COLOUR Friday…

I kept seeing all the Black Friday promotions around me and decided to come up with my own response… which I’ve called ‘Colour Friday’. 

selected a few paintings as a ‘starter pack’ that give an
introduction to my work. For two weeks, you can browse these
paintings with a 20% discount, plus free UK postage! Buying art is an investment, so follow the link for info
about my the way I create my paintings… plus here’s what some of my collectors have said after purchasing my work:

“Complete fascination. We enjoy looking at the painting every day”
- Ben and Susie

“We are quite overwhelmed by the impact this work has made on us every day. Every time one looks, one sees something else”
- Margaret and Fred

“I impulsively loved it! I felt like it was very dreamlike, so it’s on my bedroom wall!”
- Ben

“The painting is much commented on. To me, it has so much meaning and depth”
- Kym

“Your paintings have made our house much brighter”
- Donald and Katherine

You can view the paintings at
. As always, I welcome any questions at all (including questions about international postage). It would also be great if you could share this with your friends and colleagues … you might know someone who is looking for some
colourful original art!

Nicola xx

‘Contemporary Icons’ open at Hartlepool Art Gallery

‘Contemporary Icons’ is my first solo exhibition. To celebrate, I’m going to share five things I learned along the way. I’ll leave interpreting the paintings to you!

1. Intricate Planning: I genuinely made a 12-week list of everything I was doing, both morning and afternoon, to make sure there was enough time to dry in between the 5/6 sittings each painting requires (5/6 quick sittings is how I get the flat sort of finish I like, plus it allows me to build up subtle layers of colour behind the final surface). If I was on schedule, I crossed the days off, if I wasn’t… I rescheduled for another day. Sounds simple, but it’s totally mad when you think painting is this creative, fluid, intuitive process. I think I only managed to get away with this because there was so much variation in the series… faces, patterns, mixing the perfect blue… something for every mood!

2. Learning About Prints: I’ve been thinking about prints for a while but it was totally alien to me. I went into my local print shop absolutely clueless and came out clueless, but after a few visits I began to realise what I wanted. I now know which paper I like and what to ask for. It’s great because it makes my work far more accessible than it’s ever been! Click here to see for yourself! 

3. The Value Of A Professional: I couldn’t find mountboard frames that were the right size and shade of white (I know, it sounds petty but most ‘whites’ are more like cream, which does nothing for my work), so I spent an entire valuable evening cutting out my own frames from a large sheet of mountboard. Lesson learned… always pay for a professional to do this. The man at my local framing place has a machine and it’s not even too expensive to get done. I think this was the best lesson I learned… knowing when to involve a professional!

 4. Telephone Skills: One week before the exhibition opening I called every local newspaper to let them know about the exhibition. As I don’t live locally, I thought this would be a great way to let people know about my work. I’m not sure if anyone has visited as a result, but I’ve had some lovely feedback through the articles, including being described as “one of the most exciting young artists in Britain”. Click here and here for other articles.

5. Van Skills: I’m so proud that I once worked for the company Van Girls in London. If I hadn’t, imagine how I would have dealt with the fact the rental company didn’t have any short wheel base vans left for my booking, so they had to give me a long wheel base for my 450 mile round trip! My reaction was to ask what the MPG was. If I hadn’t once had to reverse into tiny Central London on-street parking spaces with the clients watching, who knows how I might have reacted. Thank you Van Girls! Also, thank you because I also now know how to properly pack my work.

I’m sure there are more, but that’s it for now.

‘Contemporary Icons’ is open until 10th November 2016 at Hartlepool Art Gallery. Check out the photos below. Thanks for reading!

INTRIGUE: A mysterious or fascinating quality’

During the past year I have painted mountains and trees, builders and care home cleaners, people with halos, the Tay Rail Bridge and my tennis coach.

When I’m in the zone, I paint first and think later. And here I am ‘later’ thinking about how the above can possibly fit into a neat little box and be stamped with ‘Nicola Wiltshire’.

Well, maybe the box is neither little nor neat, but the stamp is fully inked and as clear as black on white. 

None of those subjects are my ‘Nicola Wiltshire’ stamp. They are simply the tools I use to explore the very reason I paint. And the reason I paint? Because of INTRIGUE. I am intrigued by what paint can do and I want people to be intrigued by what I paint.

1. SUBJECT. Take ‘Oil Slump’ for example (below image). I painted a builder, not because I paint builders, but because I opened my curtains one morning and there was a man stood on the wall in my garden. My immediate reaction was wonder what kind of surreal world I had woken up to. And then I took a photo. Intrigue allows space for mystery and ambiguity, which is the perfect starting point for storytelling within a painting.

2. TEXTURE. ‘Oil Slump’ is painted on a pink fabric printed with a turquoise and grey leaf design. When I make my work, I build up layers of paint and always leave behind a trace of each layer. The two leaves in the bottom left hand corner of ‘Oil Slump’ are not painted, but part of the design of the fabric. The texture of the painting becomes intriguing and the leaves hint at a process that can be unraveled. 

3. COLOUR. When we see a solid area of blue in a painting, we can assume fairly quickly it’s either the sea or the sky. But how about when the sky is a pinky orange and a shadow turns a wall into a diving board to infinity. Colour allows me to abstract the little games I play as I paint. Colour distorts everything enough so that the man with a bow and arrow becomes nothing more than an intriguing shape for you to read into.

‘Oil Slump’ is available to buy through Tignabruaich Gallery in Argyll, along with more of my work.

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