About Nicola Marshall
My work is focused on exploring and interpreting the living details of different Biomes.
I was born in rural New Zealand and so the environmental contrast between those forests and coastlines and the Sonoran desert left me incredulous, and deepened a kind of 'intoxication' I had always felt in nature, the first time I witnessed the response to summer rain in the desert I found it nothing short of miraculous.
My paintings, simply put, are studies of flora and fauna, both the micro and the macro from various ecosystems in NZ, Wyoming and Arizona, They come out of a need to express my sense of wonder at the diversity, beauty, inter-relatedness and sheer creative audacity of the natural world! They also give me an opportunity to just simply immerse myself in the details, I love exploring and describing them. I seek to communicate to the viewer that same sense of veneration and discovery that I experience when I look closely at a coral bean pod or the myriad of shapes observable as a bird flies.
I will often play with scale to make visible the smaller participants in a biome, magnifying them for their beauty and relevance. I use simple materials like ink and charcoal, unprimed canvas, and a limited acrylic palette, and find myself working more and more with organic processes like dripping and diffusion, to create an ambient, abstracted background that provides me with many visual cues and suggests possibilities as to what may be included as the work progresses.
The literal landscape has, for the most part, disappeared, the process itself is becoming a map.