About

Hi, I’m Nicola. I live and work in Shropshire, Central England, UK.  I’m largely a self-taught artist who has been creating art for many years yet only in 2018 did I realise that I could actually make a career out of my creative skills.

I create art that is playful & bright, organic and whimsical, inspired by nature yet guided by my emotions & feelings. Every painting I create is unique and captures personal moments in life expressed through the use of colour, shapes & pattern.

As an artist I enjoy using lots of different materials, although I mainly use Acrylic Gouache (Turner), white & black ink pens (Posca extra fine) and professional grade watercolour pan paints (Winsor and Newton).

As a painter and avid lover of nature & countryside walks, I’m naturally drawn to the vast array of colours, shapes and pattern. Nature has some of the most wonderful patterns and interesting colour variations that you can see in the natural world. It therefore seems a natural fit that I’d want to use nature as inspiration in my own artwork 🙂

I love mixing paint colours, adding shapes, pattern and lines, all while listening to music. For me, I work best on an evening, when all the day’s chores are done and I can just focus on creating great art.

 

Fun facts about me:

1) I’m a qualified Hairstylist, special Needs Teaching Assistant as well as a competent Graphic Artist.

2) My love of colours comes from playing with wax crayons as a child where I used to ‘pair up’ what I thought were good colour combinations. I didn’t know at the time, but I was creating my own colour palettes!

3) My love of nature comes from being exposed to the countryside a lot as a child with my parents, family & grandparents. My nan used to tell me about all the different flowers and trees and I found this very fascinating as a child.

4) I’m a natural introvert so any social events don’t come natural to me at all….. No surprise parties for me please!

5) I have very high standards (perfectionism anyone?!) which can be both a blessing and a curse!

6) I am obsessed with circles (nearly all of my abstract paintings have circles in). I don’t honestly know why, though I do know I loved the game ‘Perfection’ by MB as a kid and all those shapes it had were so cool. Plus it was always awesome when you finally managed to beat the clock!! Yay!

7) My favourite 5 colours are coral-red, aqua-turquoise, fushia pink, purpley-blue, lime green (sorry, I can’t pick just one…it’s too difficult!).

 

Longer bio:

My story is a long and complicated one, which you may relate to in that I ignored my artistic abilities for many years and it was only after the birth of my son 5 years ago that I regularly began using my spare time to create art.

Way back in 1999 I was living and working in Warwickshire, UK as a Hairstylist and while I loved the creative side of hairdressing, I felt socially awkward and really disliked having to put on an ‘act’ like I was on a stage every day. It just wasn’t me. I’m a natural introvert so this felt very false and I knew my talents could be used in a different way, I just didn’t know how at the time….

A regular customer who was an excellent watercolour artist herself, asked if she could exhibit some of her paintings in the reception area of the salon, with a view to selling them to customers. After chatting to this woman one day, she recommended I ask my local college about art courses. So I went down, found a course I could do on an evening and signed up for an A’level in Art & Design. Overall I loved the course and it opened my eyes to lots of different areas of art that I would never have known about before. After I finished the course, I looked into doing a degree at a university but with working full time I simply couldn’t afford to do this and so any dreams of getting an art degree were squashed.

I continued to make art occasionally in my spare time although having been at college for 2 years, suddenly I felt stuck as to ‘what’ to draw. I had been taught that my art had to ‘represent an object’ or be ‘recognisable’ in some way or form. I explored other areas of art and craft and enjoyed learning and doing activities such as card making, wedding invites, lino printing, clay & sculpture, cross stitch, bead & jewellery making to name but a few!

Having worked in hairdressing for over a decade, my interests were changing (not to mention the pay was really bad, the hours long and no job progression…..). I got some volunteer work at a Graphic Design company on my day off each week from the salon. After a while I was offered a part time position at the design company. I had no graphic design qualifications at all, yet I was happy just to be getting out of hairdressing and doing something more ‘creative’. I started off doing general admin, answering the phones etc. A few months later I was offered a full time job as a Graphic Artist and I did ok considering I had never done this type of work before! 🙂

I stayed here for 4 years before being made redundant. Since I had no graphic design qualifications or experience using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop I was essentially starting from nothing again. I yearned to be painting and getting messy with materials and colours although I also needed to pay the bills.

Ever since being at school, I had always wanted to work with young children so I applied to work at a local primary school. Back off to college I went and eventually got a job as a teaching assistant. Then in 2007 after a relationship break up I moved back to my home county of Staffordshire and began working at another primary school. Around 3 years later I moved onto secondary school and it was here that my love of art was reignited. I would sit in on the art lessons although I loved the lessons probably more than they did! I knew deep down that this job wouldn’t be forever so I learnt all I could and started making more pieces of art in my spare time.

3.close up detail of finished artwork

In 2014, my son was born and each evening I would use what little time I had to devote to painting. Many evenings were spent with my son in one arm and a paintbrush in the other. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked and I slowly began to get ‘back into’ my art. Being a new mum I needed this bit of time each day for me and it gradually became my ‘meditation’ time that I would look forward to.

With my son now at school I have much more time in which to devote to my art. In 2018 I began to realise that I, like many others could have an art career, despite not having any fancy qualifications and so my website was born. It is my hope for the future that I can continue to make art and spread my love of playful, whimiscal art to those who need and appreciate it.

I hope you find my art both inspiring and revitalising. I’m always happy to hear from fellow artists on their own creative path, so don’t hesitate to reach out and say hello! Drop me a line to nrowedesigns@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can 🙂

 

You can connect with here:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicolarowedesigns

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/nicolarowedesigns

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicolarowedesigns

I am open for Commissions too, so if you would like a custom piece, please either email or contact me through my social media channels to start the conversation. Having a custom piece made means you get to own a unique, one of a kind piece that no one else has. Awesome! 🙂

Thank you for your interest in me as an artist. I hope to connect with you soon!

Best Wishes,

Nicola 🙂

 

 

 

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