Interview with Nicole Fearfield | Rise Art

“I aim to articulate the energy of a place or a memory – the way light resonates across the land or the emotion of an event.”

By Tatty Martin | 22 Apr 2022

We recently caught up with Australia-based artist Nicole Fearfield. Known for her expressive abstract paintings and original take on composition, Nicole’s paintings have a visceral energetic pull to them. Nicole recently joined the platform and is already a favourite with our curators.

Raspberry Crush by Nicole Fearfield

How would you describe your artistic style?

I paint dynamic, playful representations of life in an abstract expressive style. Employing exciting mark-making, harmonious colour, depth and spaciousness I aim to articulate the energy of a place or a memory – the way light resonates across the land or the emotion of an event.

Painting playfully and expressively always delights me. Much like breathing, it makes me feel alive and is a necessary part of my being.

How has your practice evolved over the years?

I am more aware of the elements of my practice that feel most natural to me. The way I hold my brushes, the expressive style of my brushstrokes and a more sophisticated knowledge of colour.

There is more refinement in my work now that has evolved with practice and process. I feel more at ease in allowing my deepest work to find its way to the surface, which is such an enormous part of creating art and wasn’t there in the beginning. I think this comes from a place of trusting myself more which has definitely evolved with practice.

Connected by Nicole Fearfield

How did you find your way to abstraction?

As a teenager, my family built our home directly across from the site of master abstractionist, Ian Fairweathers’ famed hut. The impact of being in such close proximity to his home and studio wasn’t felt until many years later.

In 2018 I took an intensive course called the Creative Visionary Program and it completely changed the way I make art. I’ve always loved abstract expressionism and the course showed me guidelines for understanding what elements make good art, and the importance of creating from ones’ soul in order to create work that is a joy to make and is exciting for the viewer.

My shift to painting abstracts came after an international move home which I think is a great analogy for finding my way to abstraction.

Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your practice.

I have been fortunate to live in a number of countries, all diverse in their cultures, climate and geography. My work is full of the essence of these places and my nomadic experiences and I try to imbue each painting with memories of events and people, fun times and felt impressions.

I love to explore connection to others through these happy memories.

Channeling Mr Do-Bee by Nicola Fearfield

What’s an average day like in your studio?

My day starts with walking my dog in the state forest near my studio. Before I begin painting I meditate to clear my mind. I find it helps me get into a flow state and I can paint more freely. Ideally, I have 4 or 5 canvases to work on at a time, and I spend some time looking at each to see what they are trying to say, or what they need next.

Painting expressively requires some energy, especially if the canvases are large, so I will often take a break from painting to prepare more canvases with gesso or to varnish finished pieces. I stop for lunch at 2 pm and then work again until the light goes from my studio. Evenings are for marketing and admin.

What/Who are your key influences?

I am deeply influenced by being in nature and draw inspiration from walking in bushland most weeks. I spent much of my youth in and around water, and feel particularly inspired when at the beach and especially swimming in the sea.

Key influences include the mid-century abstractionists Joan Mitchell, de Kooning, and Diebenkorn for his landscapes. I particularly love the expressive brushwork of artists such as Pat Passlof, John Wolseley and Elisabeth Cummings.

Hop, Skip, Jump by Nicole Fearfield

Who are some Rise Art artists with work you’re enjoying at the moment?

So many great artists and my Wishlist is ever-growing. I’m currently admiring the works of Alberto Sanchez, Freya Purdue, Khalid Alzayani and fellow abstractionist Trudy Montgomery.

Are you currently working on any exciting new projects?

I am close to releasing a series of expressive still life paintings which I’m very excited about. I’ve been exploring ways to inject energy into the inanimate.

Using broken colour techniques I can create the effect of shimmering light and movement, which is such a lot of fun.

Blissed Out by Nicole Fearfield

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