When Nicole Harris was a senior in high school, she realized she wanted to be a painter. Her dad is also an artist, who does landscape paintings. Nicole recalls that she has always been a creative person. Nicole’s style is what sets her apart from others. She works in mainly the abstract expressionistic format.
“I don’t use a subject, it is all free expression and colors,” Harris said.
Harris attended West Liberty University where she earned an interdisciplinary degree in art and philosophy. Harris notes that having business knowledge was really important when she decided she wanted to sell her art.
Harris, being a creative student, always enjoyed poetry, but never shared it with anyone. She describes her paintings as “visual poems” and notes that there is a lot of depth in them if you take the time to look. She also believes that they are high in energy and emotional content.
“It’s kind of like looking at a fire. I would best describe it as entrancing and rhythmic,” Harris said.
It can be quite the challenge to come up with a title for something, especially a painting. Harris recalls that titles evolve from the emotions she experiences when she paints.
“I always paint with music on and I give credit to the song for how it makes me feel,” Harris said.
About five years ago Harris sold her first painting to one of her friends. She has since participated in two collaborative shows in downtown Parkersburg. She also participates in Marietta Marketplaces and plans to do so again in September. Additionally, she works on commission pieces.
Something new Harris is trying is Home Parties. She hosted a party for children recently that was Olympic Themed. She had the kids painting a parrot, which was appropriate since the games were held in Rio, and the famous Olympic rings. The directions were step by step and the kids learned how to use the palette knife. Even though the kids were all painting the same image, Harris was sure to encourage an expressionistic approach.
“They loved it,” Harris said, with regards to the Home Party.
Harris would like to have House Parties for adults as well. She thinks they have therapeutic benefits and is open to themes as long as you agree to keep it abstract. Regardless if it is kids or adults, Harris believes her art can promote self-esteem in adults and kids. She emphasizes that the end result doesn’t really matter, but encourages participants to appreciate the process.
“I like to call it ‘messy art’ and it is not perfectionist art at all,” Harris said.
She has even called the end result “mesterpieces” instead of masterpieces. Harris believes that these parties are also a great excuse to meet up with your friends face to face instead of resorting to social media.
“I believe that you should find time to do something that makes yourself happy,” Harris said.
To see more of Harris’s art or to book a party, please visit her Facebook page until her website is up and running (she hopes it will be up by Christmas!).