Nadine. Where do you think your ideas come from?
Nikky. I feel like my practice is one big body of work that leads on from the last painting; it is evolving and growing, but still connected to that original work. My ideas mostly come from my painting practice, I will see the way a certain colour looks next to a texture, or an image that feels like it has more to say. I just listen to my practice and let it lead me.
Nadine. Describe a typical day. Do you have a routine?
Nikky. A typical day would be get up, wish I was more organised, find food, ignore mess, find clean school uniform/socks for child, get child to school without a tantrum. Go to studio. Paint. Get distracted by carpet snake shedding its skin at my studio door. Paint. Have array of emotions about my practice that swing from inflated ego to extreme self doubt, question everything from why I am painting to why am I wasting my time questioning why I am painting and not just painting. Paint. Decide I can’t paint any more unless I have a new paint brush, realise I can’t afford a new brush unless I finish painting and sell it. Paint.
Nadine. What inspires you to keep painting?
Nikky. I am inspired by life and people and the accidental beauty of it all. I keep painting because I have to. Without it I would have no language.
Nadine. Tell us about your process from the start to completion of a painting.
Nikky. I work on plywood, so I start by sourcing the best quality ply I can find, then I have it framed, backed. I don’t prime or underpaint because I like the texture of the wood. I will have an idea but nothing solid, I don’t keep journals or have any working drawings. It all happens as I am painting. I draw from memory. I don’t use projectors or images. At the beginning I just have my charcoal pencil and white paint and I start to draw. When I’m happy with it I start to use colour, and build layers. There is a lot of layering in my process because of the lack of planning. I will do something, paint it out, then work over the top. But I always leave a trace of what came before, even if it is just a tiny fleck of colour or a pencil mark … it is all just as important as the more contrived stuff, it makes up a whole that speaks of a past.
Nadine. What’s the most exciting thing about being an artist?
Nikky. The most exciting part of being an artist is that no day is ever the same. I go into my studio and am excited about what I might discover in my practice. Also, the opportunities like artist-in-residence programs that become available.
Nadine. And the hardest thing?
Nikky. The hardest thing is being broke.
Nadine. What would you do if you weren’t an artist?
Nikky. If I wasn’t a painter I would be an art therapist or dead.