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Tag Archives: Rose Valley

  • CreativPaper Magazine Interview

    See it here!

    CreativPaper.com/magazine

    https://issuu.com/creativpaper/docs/creativpaper-issue-three/158

    /NICOLE KRISTIANA
    We have only scratched the surface with regards to identifying the species
    that inhabit our planet. In their myriad of forms and colours, they
    each hold a wealth of knowledge that's just waiting to be tapped while
    playing an important role in the planet 's ecology. Artist Nicole Kristiana
    certainly seems to capture the beauty of these animals in her work.
    Ranging from bison to foxes, butterflies and even the living fossil that is
    the nautilus. She shares her studio with her adorable pets, Barnaby and
    Miss Kitty and was an absolute joy to interview. Read on below.

    Do you think we could all benefit
    from making an occasional
    inventory of things that make us
    happy to give us perspective?

    Yes, if you're taking inventory
    of things that make you happy,
    it means things your reminding
    yourself of what you're grateful for.
    It gives you peace.
    A happiness inventory makes you
    happier, which opens you up for
    attracting positivity, and it
    perpetuates a positive cycle.
    Knowing what truly makes you
    happy also helps your mind to navigate
    through the muck of
    influence from advertising , media
    and society. News media, at least in
    America, bases its results in
    generating fear, which causes an
    immediate reaction from people,
    but it takes one away from
    happiness by causing artificial
    stress.
    Advertising keeps telling you that
    you cannot be happy without
    something or some service. It
    appeals to your ego and tells it that
    it deserves more, so it causes you to
    be dissatisfied.

    Society is endlessness telling you
    that you need to be everything but
    who you are and where you are in
    your life. One of the best ways to
    combat all these negative influences
    is to know what makes you
    happy. Once you take stock of your
    happiness, it's easier to recognize
    and reject these outside influences.

    Are you originally from Bellefonte,
    Delaware?

    No. I was born in New York City.
    We moved to the suburbs when I
    was about 4, so I don't remember
    living in the city. We were middle
    class, living in Monroe , NY, but ,
    since my parents were both
    foreign-born, Estonian and Irish,
    they were very education-oriented.
    I was able to attend the private
    Tuxedo Park School, which had
    and still has a positive influence in
    my life regarding the philosophy,
    art, fine education and lifestyle.
    Around the age of 11, we moved to
    the suburbs of Philadelphia.
    We lived right next to the Arts and
    Crafts Community of Rose Valley,
    PA, which, serendipitously, has ties
    through architecture and
    lifestyle to Tuxedo Park. Both of
    these communities value the arts,
    nature, self-government and
    interactive education. From there, I
    often moved around the
    Philadelphia area, then, to
    Chicago for school, and eventually,
    we bought our home in Bellefonte,
    DE, an artsy community, self-governed
    , in North Wilmington, DE.
    Bellefonte is close to Arden, DE,
    which was founded by the same
    architect who founded the
    Community of Rose Valley, PA.
    None of this was planned, I just
    naturally gravitate to these areas
    and feel my art reflects my natural
    attraction to the Arts and Crafts
    aesthetic and philosophies .

    What's it like living there? Is it a
    tightly knit community?

    Bellefonte, DE, is a very small
    community. Delaware, as a whole,
    is very small. Everyone knows
    everyone . Here, we know our
    political representatives by sight, if
    not, in person.
    Within a few questions, most
    people can find someone who
    someone they meet knows or is
    related to. Our little town has about
    1,200 residents. There is the artsy
    faction of musicians and artists , the
    retirees , those associated with the
    fire company and some people
    belonging to religious groups.
    Overall, we work together. One
    of the bigger annual events is the
    Bellefonte Arts Festival. The fire
    house holds an event that day. The
    artists line the streets with their
    tents, musicians are scheduled to
    play all day long, people host their
    yard sales on that day, and folks
    in the community volunteer their
    time to work various events.

    What attracted you to making art
    in the first place?

    At first, it was simply who I was. In
    nursery school, we had a
    project making wrapping paper out
    of dipping halves of citrus fruits in
    a paint and placing them on paper.
    I envisioned these prints as
    stepping stones in a pond, and
    adamantly requested I be able to
    properly finish my piece on the
    easel because the water needed to
    be a solid blue.
    I had a whole nature scene in my
    mind even at that young age.
    Later, art was simply something I
    was good at and gave me an
    identity. In school, when I was in
    5th grade, my design for the annual
    book sale invitation cover was
    chosen out of all the other
    classes to be the winner. I was so
    very proud. I'd worked hard and
    had won out, even against the 8th
    graders. I remember a classmate
    telling other children I cheated and
    that my mother had to be a
    volunteer at the event and had
    coached me as to the theme.
    I felt jilted, but, also, even prouder,
    as, even though my mother loved
    the prestige and potential future of
    having me attend a great school,
    she never had a thing to do with
    me or it.
    I knew then that my art was mine ,
    I could rely on it, even despite what
    the little girl had said. I went on
    to win more contests, awards and
    scholarships in art at school.
    In high school, art was a way for
    me to process dark emotions. It
    helped me to feel through some
    painful experiences. My mother
    was very mentally ill, and my father
    was an alcoholic.
    School and society had told me I
    was crazy. They tried to put me on
    psych medicines and were
    endlessly making me out to be
    a terrible reactive teenager, just
    fraught with misguided hormones
    and angst. In those days, parents
    were never wrong or bad; it was
    always the teenager's fault.

    I was so trapped at the time, so
    powerless. I was reacting naturally
    to an unnatural situation, and no
    one would believe me. They were
    trying to punish me for something
    that wasn't my doing. Creating art
    gave me an outlet for all that confusion
    and injustice and kept me
    sane.
    Without it, I don't know how I
    would have ended up. From there,
    whenever I didn't have art in my
    life, too busy focusing on boys, or
    being a singer for a Goth band, I
    would begin to feel empty , and the
    feeling was progressive. The longer
    I didn't do art, the more unhappy
    I would become, until I learned to
    make art a daily practice. It, like
    being in nature, is fundamental to
    my well-being. Art has always been
    there for me. When I need it most,
    art provides me with the money I
    need. It supports me
    emotionally and helps me give back
    to the world.

    How important is meditation to
    you as an artist?

    In one word, extremely. When I am
    working on a piece, I am often in
    a deep state of meditation. I am so
    focused; I am unaware of anything
    and everything around me. I hear
    nothing. All I know is the paint, the
    paper, the colours, the
    composition, the feel of the brush,
    the amount of water, etc., etc. It
    allows me to shed all the influences
    of the outside world and focus on
    just one thing.
    I also meditate when I walk in
    nature. It helps me to clear my
    mind so that I can see freshly. Most
    of the inspiration for the patterns
    in my pieces comes from nature.
    To really see patterns in nature, you
    have to see. . but see, and one
    cannot do that properly when
    thoughts of bills, social
    distractions, politics, and all other
    day-to-day concerns are
    clouding you. I find that connecting to nature allows for meditation,
    and then it reveals it self to me, so I
    can work with and reflect it in my
    artwork.

    Is there a personal goal you would
    like to achieve apart from your
    art?

    Well, I do have my bucket list of
    things I'd like to experience before
    I die, some grander than others.
    I'd like to see pink dolphins in the
    Amazon. I'd like to take a hot air
    balloon ride over fall foliage in the
    mountains.

    I'd like to have a write-up in the
    New York Times Art & Design
    Section some day. I'd like to write
    and illustrate a children's book. I'd
    like to buy back the family farm my
    grandmother worked so hard for,
    and my mother sold for pennies.

    But, other than some of those, I
    just strive to be the best person I
    can be. I can always be kinder. I
    can always be more healthy. I can
    always do better. I want to set a
    solidly good example of being a decent
    human being for my son. My
    goal is to create a well balanced life,
    which, is not as easy as it sounds.

    You studied art for over 12 years
    at five different universities,
    Could you tell us a bit more about
    that?

    Sure. I just studied and studied.
    I have been so lucky in my life to
    learn from dozens of amazing artists/
    teachers. In middle school, I
    took summer and evening classes
    at our local community arts centre.
    In high school, there was a
    scholarship program to take
    Saturday classes at Moore College
    of Art. I took both classes every
    Saturday for all four years. They offered
    Summer Classes as well. I did
    that for one summer, and for the
    other two summers, I was part of
    the AP Arts Program at Skidmore
    College.
    I had been accepted to the High
    School for the Creative and
    Performing Arts high school but
    wasn't allowed to attend. My
    parents were too concerned about
    my academics. After high school,
    I wanted to go to Art School, but,
    again, wasn't allowed to attend.
    My parents and society endlessly
    warned of how I could always "go
    to art school later, but it was smarter
    and safer to go to a regular college
    for my future: ' I first attended
    Drew University. I failed out but
    did well in the art classes.
    Next, I went to Bryn Mawr
    College and majored in art there.
    After that, for a while, I worked in
    advertising as so many
    creative people get stuck doing,
    and stopped doing art for about six
    years. I became very depressed. I
    became quite a fatty.
    I quit opening a coffee shop that
    went bust during that time. I was
    craving artists and musicians,
    without fully realizing it was me
    who needed to do the art.
    Eventually, I began taking
    classes again at a local art centre
    and moved to a new area outside
    Philadelphia.

    Are there certain objects or species
    you are drawn back to paint
    on a regular basis?

    Yes. Butterflies. I incorporate a
    butterfly in every piece I make. It
    serves as a symbol to me to always
    be open to evolving, and it reminds
    me that all good things in my life
    are preceded by me seeing butterflies.
    Whenever I see lots of butterflies,
    whether, in life or images, it's an
    indicator that I'm on the right path
    and going in the right direction.
    They reassure me that I'm going
    the right way. In my artworks, I use
    them as a signature. I also use them
    to balance out the composition.
    Their placement in my artworks is
    very conscious.
    Tell us about your lovely pets,
    Barnaby and Miss Kitty?
    Ahh, my beautiful creatures. They
    bring me joy everyday. Barnaby is a
    four-year-old Golden Doodle.
    He's almost 90 lbs and resembles a
    very large teddy bear. Miss Kitty is
    a lovely long-haired tuxedo cat. She
    is beautiful, and, she's quite aware
    of it. They are as many friends as
    can be expected.
    They both love to share the couch
    with me. They also have a love for
    the particular deli sandwich I get.
    The sit, lined up together,
    expecting each a morsel in-turn .
    I don't believe I've had my whole
    Wawa turkey hoagie in 4 years,
    and I'm very happy to share! My
    childhood experiences left me with
    some PTSD, so my animals do a
    great deal to alleviate the
    symptoms.
    They are always with me. Miss
    Kitty rarely leaves my side when
    I'm sick or injured. Barnaby comes
    with me wherever I can take him.
    He comes to the galleries with me.
    He goes back and forth to my son's
    school. He's by my side now. My
    brother says he's my familiar.

    www.nicolekristianastudio.com

  • Corporations may not think so, but talent and skills do matter.

    I’ll admit it. I’m awfully bitter about work and their endless dogmatic attempts to invalidate individuals to ensure their perfect compliant workforce. Curses upon them and their evil fear-based controlling ways.

    That said… some wonderful opportunities have come my way recently.

    Most notably, or the one I’m most excited about, is a special opportunity to draw landscapes. In working with my landscaper and asking him for his design and advice on creating my Zen garden, he ran in to technical problems with CAD. I had shown him a drawing of what I was envisioning early on in the project and he was thrilled with it.

    In any case, he’s looking to collaborate with me for trade and cash to draw out my yard and landscape scheme, but also some larger ones for some wealthier customers of his on the “Main Line”. Hmm, so… I get to work with plants, learn about landscape design, draw and ink, and, be outside…. Oh, and get paid for it. Could there be a better thing on earth? Maybe, but barely. :)

    Next, I have a wonderful commission to do a sunflowers painting. Luckily, this weekend is it, because my Sunflowers are up and in full bloom at their proud 8-foot height! That will be a huge bonus for the holidays. I’m excited to work on the piece.

    Then, I’m working on the holiday card for the Rose Valley Museum. I’ll need to get the design of this year’s featured Arts and Crafts fireplace completed soon. This year’s card promises to be beautiful! I love maintaining the legacy and pride in the Arts and Crafts through Rose Valley. It’s important to keep that history alive as a formidable example of extolling and living an artful life.

    I have another art commission, overdue, for a local shop, and a lead on several locations to show work. I'll be sharing those as soon as they are confirmed.

    It’s going to be a VERY busy Fall season, but I could not be happier, truly. These are wonderful artistic opportunities. I feel so fortunate to have my artistic skill to trade and rely on. It helps so much in dealing with the daily tragedy of corporate life to know that I can always make it on my own, doing something for good and beauty.

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