Today we’d like to introduce you to Nikki McCulloch.
Nikki, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in Upstate New York in the Adirondack Park surrounded by lakes, mountains, and endless forests of green. This environment is something I have always carried with me and influences much of my work today. My path to becoming an artist was a bit untraditional. While completing a BA degree in New York for English I discovered Artist Book. I then moved to Vermont and opened my own studio in Shelburne where I deepened my relationship to art in a narrative form. After working and living in Vermont for a few years I moved to Boston to pursue a Master’s in Teaching for Art Education at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Here I discovered my love for sculpture, abstraction, and mixed media works. I have always been a maker, but it took time for me to find what medium is best for expressing my authentic experiences.
While studying at the Massachusetts College of Art I was reunited with painting and its versatility to express emotion through color and form. Through my teaching practice I unfolded new ways to create, appreciate, and study mark making and process. I have always been drawn to the beauty of bodies of water, and that influence began to appear in my paintings as I sought to emulate nature’s forms, tensions, and color relationships. Each mark inherently leads to the next, mapping the world as I see it.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Most of my ideation process happens out in the field as I travel through different environment and landscapes including Scotland, Ireland, and New England region I am attempting to translate what I see and how it feels to be immersed in nature onto canvas and paper so I can share it with others. My current work can be seen as abstracted landscapes exploring connections and relationships between land, bodies of water, and sky. I wish for my paintings to be read as topographical maps outlining my bodies relationship to the earth. My artistic practice requires action and reaction as each mark leads me through the creative and messy process.
This process requires a rested and focused mind that is present in the moment of making. It is a tactile and physical process that requires me to let go of the notion of preciousness and embrace each mistake as a learning experience. I create art so that I can carry that environment with me, and so others can look at my artwork and feel that experience, the rush of the water, the quiet of the woods, the earth beneath their feet. It represents my attempt to record the places in which I feel most comfort.
The sterotype of a starving artist scares away many potentially talented artists from pursuing art – any advice or thoughts about how to deal with the financial concerns an aspiring artist might be concerned about?
I think that carving out time daily for artistic practice even if it’s something small or temporary is so important, even if finances are tight. Most artists make work because they have a deep connection to the process of creating, and that is something that feeds our artistic spirit. I would suggest trying to set aside time for making and persist through the times when it feels like the work is less meaningful because it is not selling. Paint on the back of envelopes if you have to.
Most artists have something to communicate through their artwork and that should not be hindered because of finances. I find that working in small field journals can help with this, but I try to never stop making, or looking at the world around me.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have no upcoming exhibitions, but viewers can see my work online. If they wish to support my artwork they can visit my etsy shop.
- Website: https://www.nikkimccullochstudio.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nikkimccullochstudio/
Photos were taken by me and my Husband Nicholas McCulloch.