Internationally renowned British artist, Beth Nicholas, shares with us the story and inspiration behind her journey into becoming an artist who creates ethereal and immersive artwork filled with sophistication, energy and colour.
Experimenting with colour and techniques has been a huge joy in my life, and I have always drawn and spuddled with different medium! But it was my mum that gifted me with a passion for art. She was an artist herself, so as a child, it wasn’t long before I was attempting to copy and emulate her work. Our work now, of course, is completely different—Mum is a very skilled landscape painter while I’m focussed on abstraction—though one theme persists, which is the love of colour.
I vividly remember the first time I fell in love with colour, the first time I really ‘felt’ how delicious it can be! My grandparents came to visit and gave me a beautiful pack of felt tips—the colours were so intense and vibrant, I fell in love with them immediately. They were great quality, probably a bit too old for a 2-year-old to be honest, but I cherished them. The same colours I loved then are the ones I am attracted to now. For me, there is nothing better than putting together a good colour combination.
I’ve always felt like there were two sides to my personality, does that make sense? I have a soft side that is very gentle, serious, sensitive and thoughtful: a bit of an introvert. Then I can also be an extrovert: funny, cheeky and flirtatious. In a way my work allows that introvert to express themself, to fall into the colours, the compositions and the process.
As you can see, colour is massively important to me, and there’s something about blue…the calm serenity that I get from the colour blue and all its tones. I’m often asked if I could work in different colours and I do try, but I always come back to blue; it’s a colour that resonates so deeply within me, that I am connected to it like I am connected to my work.
With my work, there is something so wonderful, so exciting about every single piece! The work and I create together, I don’t ‘make’ it, I manipulate and cajole it. I never know how anything is going to turn out, and I don’t know even right up to the very last minute! The work itself inspires me. It’s a difficult thing to describe, but each piece, if successful (and so much of it isn’t), is so wildly different when you really look at it that it is virtually impossible not to start the next to see where that takes you.
Oooh, yes! Lots of space if you’re hanging large pieces. Frames and mounts are really important if you are hanging paper work, it’s essential to make sure the framing is plain so it doesn’t detract from it.