Recently, while sneaking in an early summer getaway, our in-house beach bum (if only she could be!) discovered the artwork of Nicole Kristiana on display at Serendipity Shops of Avalon. A cooperative set-up, much like our Loft, Serendipity offers a variety of home furnishings, clothing and accessories, gifts and jewelry. Always on the lookout for new items to share with The Loft at Knots & Weaves customers, our curious shopper spent a lot of time checking out the merchandise. As she walked around the collection of vendors, the brightly colored, beach-themed gouache paintings by artist Nicole Logan caught her eye.
Her first reaction was to the color and texture of each painting, as well as each subject’s—primarily sea life—whimsical portrayal. Along with being captivated by the shading, structure, pattern and hue of each painting, Kerry felt a flash of light-hearted summertime fun, and a new appreciation for the gouache technique. Immediately she approached someone for information on the artist, in hopes of bringing a selection of the artist’s works to The Loft. Her research led her to a news story about Logan unveiling an outdoor mural around Memorial Day, on an exterior wall of Bellafonte Arts gallery and studio located outside Wilmington, Delaware.
After visiting her website, and learning about the mural, the rest of us here at Knots & Weaves grew curious too. Here’s what Nicole told us about the “beach art” Kerry was so smitten with:
“I grew up loving trips to the beach. From Jones Beach in New York, to Avalon, NJ and the Delaware Beaches, I’ve enjoyed hunting shells, finding horseshoe crabs and avoiding jellyfish. The dolphins swimming near the shore always bring a huge smile and strong feeling of contentment.
I also love the calmness and power of the ocean… the creatures and how well they are adapted to it. I like the feeling of happiness that I, and others, get from being at the beach. That joy is what I try to capture in my paintings.
Like many people, I feel a connection to sea creatures. I’ve been fortunate to snorkel in the Caribbean, and in the Mediterranean in the South of France. The influence for my more exotic creatures comes from collecting images and patterns from those travels. I take a lot of photos of patterns while I’m at the beach and incorporate them into my artwork when I return to my studio and dive into recreating my experiences. The photos are critical in helping me capture the exact light and colors I witnessed.
The patterns I do reflect the natural patterns on the animals, as well as patterns that might be created by light reflections and shadows. I blend these to capture the whole experience of the creature. I try to include the sense of flowing in the ocean in my pieces as well. I think people respond to the exaggerated colors that bring out the patterns. I just enhance what’s already there.
I spend a lot of time observing: I tend to choose to take nature walks at whatever shore I’m visiting in order to truly enjoy the natural ocean and shoreline habitats. It allows me to reflect and take a lot of inspirational photos. Hiking is a kind of meditation that allows me the time to truly look and appreciate. Being able to translate this type of sensory experience to a painting, and to another human, is equally transcending.”
To learn more about the artist and her work, visit her online studio. Along with her beach creations, you’ll find cute alphabet prints (great for kids’ rooms), messenger bags printed with original artwork, and additional “bohemian” animal-themed paintings. If you’re a beach dweller, or want to pretend you are, you’ll enjoy hanging one—or several—of Logan’s gouaches on your walls.
Follow Nicole on Twitter and Facebook. Better yet, visit The Loft for a taste of the real thing.