Nicole Etienne: Painting is just like love making
“Painting is just like love making. Sometimes slow, sensual strokes and long drags of charcoal are right. And sometimes quick splash and quickly slips lush color is the story of a painting technology needs to reveal the story. One of my favorite artists, Eric Fischl, told me that if I do not feel what I paint, no one will do more. I am happy to update and create the art, a kind of rev up the engine and materialize sex, love, lust… whatever it is, I’m trying to evoke.”
Born in Santa Cruz, California in 1974, Etienne Nicole Powell grew up among the redwoods and the suburbs of Silicon Valley. His mother, an artist active, healthy Nicole kept covered in paint and dirt and fed his burgeoning career with full access to his office supplies.
After moving to the Bay Area his family joined a group utopian liberal California which focused on human rights, anti-war activism, and the belief that by leaving a process of personal transformation, they were of achieve a greater awareness of the earth and each other. Nicole was encouraged to be intuitive and explore.
It was not long before the conservative, buttoned up world of Silicon Valley felt a bit too parochial. She has traveled extensively, studied painting and exhibiting, and New York Nicole was able to find his feet – and his voice. She has created works of sincere and tender human encounters. Painting lush groves with a high “Amazons angelic” blooming sexuality and femininity, she twists the old myths new, creating the woman as the “romantic hero” in a world completely to it.
Her technique of copies of the luminosity of watercolor with the thickness of oil paint. A struggle between maintaining the original brand of coal and the brightness of the blank, and the desire to smear paint on thick hunks until melted together.
Nicole began her artistic training college at UC Santa Barbara transfer to UC Santa Cruz, where she received her BA in 1997. She studied abroad at Lorenzo Medici School of Art in Italy and received her MFA cum laude in 2009 from the New York Academy of Art.
She painted in Italy and lived in London and Ireland. He was on a trip to Cornwall, England, Nicole met her husband, creative director Peter Powell. They now live in New York with their Moo chat.
About Nicole Etienne Powell
A fourth generation artist, Nicole Etienne paints in a style that blends the classic values of traditional still life with the cubist approach of depicting objects without geometric perspective. Her work mirrors her personality: high spirited and contemporary, with a dash of humor. Etienne lives by the words of her favorite philosopher, Henry David Thoreau: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
During college Nicole gave up an athletic scholarship to follow her true course. She studied art at the Universities of California, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, discovering an affinity with cubism. You can see this understanding in much of Etienne’s work. Objects appear how she sees them, not how perspective tells us they should.
It was at the Lorenzo de Medici School of Artin Florence that Etienne’s artistic talents blossomed. It’s said the Italians taught the French how to paint and how to cook; lessons that did not escape Etienne. There, surrounded by thousands of years of architecture and fine art, she developed her style and understanding of what she could achieve. “I wanted to experience everything. It’s no good just studying art — you have to study life”. This philosophy of Etienne’s is reflected in all of her work…